Tuesday, December 15, 2020

One Day in December by Josie Silver

Look, another e-book! I am on a roll, here, all the way up to one per month. 

One Day in December was my first read of the month and I chose it because the cover made it look light and fun. It got a lot of attention at some point, thanks to Reese's Book Club, and everyone seemed to be reading it at the time (Last year? The year before?), but I bought my electronic copy long after the buzz had died down. 

Laurie is sitting on the upper deck of a London bus when it pulls into a stop and she sees a man who instantly sets her heart aflame. Their eyes meet and he even attempts to board the bus, but he's too late. For a year, she looks for the man she has come to think of as "Bus Boy" but London is huge and she never manages to spot him, again. Just as she's finally decided to give up, her best friend and roommate brings home a new boyfriend, Jack, the man she claims that she intends to marry. And, you guessed it . . . he's Bus Boy. They recognize each other but pretend otherwise. Clearly, Jack is off-limits, now that he's dating Sarah. And Jack, likewise, is unwilling to hurt Sarah by acknowledging that he's seen Laurie before, although he remembers that fleeting connection that passed between them very well. 

Years pass. Laurie and Jack gradually become fast friends and they only cross the line once. Eventually, Laurie finds a love of her own. But, the reader knows Laurie and Jack are meant to be together. Will they ever find a way to each other?

Highly recommended - I loved One Day in December, not just for the romance but for the deep and enduring friendships throughout the book. Laurie and Sarah have an incredibly special relationship and this creates a tremendous tension. There's obviously always some kind of spark between Jack and Laurie. But, they're good people and neither would ever do anything they know will cause Sarah pain, so they work hard at becoming friends and suppressing their attraction. It's absolutely lovely how careful they are not to step out of bounds for the sake of their mutual friend. 

While One Day in December is not the kind of book my F2F group would discuss (they like literature; I can't imagine they'd go for anything romantic), I think there's a good deal to discuss. "What would you do?" is the most obvious question. What if you were Laurie? What if you were Jack? How would you react if you were Sarah and you found out about that one kiss? Should Laurie have immediately spoken up and said, "Hey, your new guy is Bus Boy"? 

Also, One Day in December is remarkably complex and believable, in my humble opinion. It isn't a quickie romance. Each year, Laurie writes down her goals and the reader sees how they play out. There are life changes for all of the characters, and the interaction between the characters has its ebbs and flows. Laurie's life is particularly complicated by the challenge of trying to find her place in the working world and by the health of her father, as well as the memory of a childhood loss. Jack, meanwhile, goes through a significant challenge of his own that threatens everything he holds dear. 

I loved this book and I'll definitely be looking for more by Josie Silver. It is, incidentally, always a sign that I enjoyed a book if I read it electronically and manage to finish. I still do have the problem of not feeling like e-books are real. It's very easy for me to set down my reader and forget I'm reading an e-book. So, if I finish it, I was engrossed. In this case, I was mesmerized, charmed, eager to find out what would happen, and ultimately satisfied. 

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  1. This sounds great and I usually love the books Reese chooses for her clubs. I passed on this one because it seemed too light for me but I am glad that there was a little complexity too.

    1. I confess I've never paid any attention at all to Reese's Book Club but yes, there's plenty going on and I don't think you'll find it too fluffy if you choose to read One Day in December. It takes place over years so things change. There were some scenes that I think would normally have been handled in a much less believable way and I appreciated that about it, as well.


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