When One Day in December by Josie Silver landed on my doormat, this months book from the Mumsnet Book Club, I just knew I was going to love it. And I know I say the same every month but, seriously, just from the short blurb on the back, I was already desperate to know what happened next. And so I read the whole book from start to finish in just three delicious hours where my heart broke and my eyes leaked, and I fell in love with the most beautifully created characters and a plot which had me hooked right from the offset.
One Day in December starts a decade earlier when Laurie spots a beautiful stranger on the bus and, as their eyes meet, she falls head over heels in love. As the bus pulls away and the stranger blurs into the distance, there begins a year long search for “bus boy”, encouraged by Laurie’s best friend Sarah who is every bit as desperate to find this handsome stranger for her friend.
And then all of a sudden, completely out of the blue, there he is, “bus boy”, standing in her apartment, being introduced as Sarah’s new boyfriend, the man that Sarah is convinced is the love of her life.
And right there and then, having made the decision to never let Sarah known the truth, Laurie’s heart is shattered.
Over the next decade we watch as Laurie and Jack battle with their feelings for each other, struggling to move on from that first moment they laid eyes on each other, desperately trying to pave a platonic friendship for the sake of Sarah, sharing moments, and making memories, all whilst trying their hardest to love their respective partners in they way they do each other. And although I won’t spoil the story for you, nor will I tell you how it ends, what I will tell you is that it is utterly captivating at every step of the way.
Josie Silver is incredibly talented as a writer and the way in which she creates such likeable, and relatable, characters is admirable. I have never willed a character to find happiness in the same way that I have with Laurie, nor have I found myself feeling every one of her emotions as they are played out throughout the years . And although we see a dark side to Jack, and his behaviour at times is inexcusable, I still liked him, for all of his faults, and found myself silently hoping that he would just tell Laurie how he feels, that the two of them would open their eyes and see that every bit of their happiness is resting on each other.
And whilst One Day in December is ultimately a love story between Laurie and Jack, the character of Sarah is paramount to every twist and turn. And as much as I fell in love with Laurie, I loved Sarah every bit as much, admiring her fierce loyalty, her unwavering confidence, her openness and honesty, and the close sisterly bond that she and Laurie shared.
I think it’s safe to say that I absolutely loved this book, so much so that when I when I finished it I felt bereft, as though I was losing three of my very best friends. I wanted to keep reading, not to find out the answers, as the book was ended so perfectly, but just to follow the three of them over the years, to read more about their lives going forward, to continue to revel in the warmth and the happiness that I felt when I turned that last page.
And if that isn’t a sign of a good book then I don’t know what is.
You can buy One Day in December here.
** I am part of the Mumsnet Book Club and received this copy for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own **