Aug 18th, 2011 by Lisa
One Day by David Nicholls
|One Day by David NichollsDexter Mayhew and Emma Morley, better known as Dex and Em, begin a friendship that spans decades after they spend a day together after graduation. When the day ends, they decide to keep in touch. He leaves to travel the world and she to work as a waitress and actress, feeling unfulfilled. As they encounter new trials and triumphs in their life, we are given a peek at what their life has become on the same day of the year – July 15th.|
Book Club Ideas
Like with all long time friends, Dex and Em had their inside jokes. One of them involved Dexter’s aversion to Scrabble. Scrabble pieces can be arranged to spell “One Day” and “Dex” and “Em”. Another joke involved Dexter’s black and white “Texture” photo-project, which involved close-ups of tree bark, sea shells and gravel in the driveway. You can take your own texture photographs to use as a backdrop for your table setting.
Dexter and Emma’s friendship spanned through three decades. Below is a sampling of music from each of those time periods.
Book Club Menu
Dexter’s mother taught him to make a Dry Martini when he was just a tween. Dexter fancied himself a mixologist (not misogynist as Emma thought). He ordered his martini with Bombay Sapphire, very dry, with a twist. “The trick is to get everything really, really cold before you start. Iced water in the glass, gin in the freezer.”
I searched the library and internet for more tips on making the ultimate martini.
The Perfect Martini Book by Robert Herzbrun recommends using only quality products and because of the double distilling of London gin, it is the best to use for a martini. Shaking the martini gets it colder faster, but can cause it to be cloudy. A stirred martini is more crisp and clear. It is also recommended the ice cubes are made with spring water rather than tap water. The moment the vermouth combines with the gin, an immediate but short-lived chemical reaction occurs, so martinis should be served right away.
101 Martinis by Kim Haasarud gives a tip on adding a twist to a martini. Rub the yellow side of the lemon peel around the edge of a chilled martini glass, then twist it and drop it into the glass.
Martini-recipe.com recommends using a steel or glass martini shaker (not aluminum, which can impart a taste to the martini). It is also recommended you keep your gin or vodka, as well as the martini glasses, in the freezer. Vermouth, however, should be stored in the refrigerator as it can partially freeze.
Food for a book club party for One Day could include English dishes, such as Yorkshire Pudding, in honor of Emma’s heritage. Dexter took Emma to a restaurant that was described as Modern British (“as if paying all that money for sausage and mash was very Modern, very British”). I included a recipe called Toad in the Hole which is made with Yorkshire pudding and sausage. Click here for more of our English recipes.
On Dexter’s and Emma’s holiday in Greece, they laughed for 10 days straight. If you would like to serve Greek food at your book club party, some suggestions include a Greek Salad and the most delicious Greek dish of them all – Baklava. Click for more Greek recipes.
Book Club Resources
Ratings at the time this post was published
|Goodreads: 3.74 stars (21,368 ratings)|
|Amazon: 3.5 stars (306 ratings)|
|Barnes and Noble: 3.5 stars (1150 ratings)|
|My Rating: 4 stars. This book made me laugh so hard (and yes, made me cry). Dexter and Emma are both very believable characters and I never lost interest in what was happening to each of them on that one day – July 15th.|
- How do you think their relationship would have turned out if Emma would have had dinner with Dex and his parents after that first night together? What if they would have taken their relationship further after their trip to Greece? Do you think they needed the years apart to mature and figure out what they really wanted?
- Did you like Dexter? Do you think he was the one for Emma? What did you think about Ian? Was he in the least bit funny?
- From the first day they meet until age 40, how did Emma and Dexter change? How were they still the same people they used to be?
- What was the main emotion you felt while reading this book?
- Where there any passages in the book you found disturbing or made you uncomfortable?
- Which characters did you particularly admire or dislike? Why did you feel this way?
- What did you think about the ending of the book? Did the ending surprise you or did you expect it? If you could rewrite the ending, would you? How would you change it?
Purchase One Day at your favorite bookseller
David Nicholls studied English Literature and Drama at the University of Bristol in 1985. He has worked as an actor, bookseller, script reader/researcher, script-editor, and then script writer. During this period, he began to write, developing an adaptation of Sam Shepard’s stage-play Simpatico which was turned into a feature film in 1999. His first TV production followed soon afterwards; I Saw You, a one-off romantic-comedy which won best single play at the annual BANFF television festival. Four episodes of Cold Feet followed, and since then David has written for film and TV as well as fiction. He has been twice nominated for BAFTA awards and his first novel, Starter for 10 was featured on the first Richard and Judy Book Club. In film, Simpatico was followed by the movie version of Starter for Ten and an adaptation of Blake Morrison’s memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father?. The feature film version of One Day will be released on August 19th.
At present, David is writing his fourth novel, as well as working on a feature-film version of Dickens’ Great Expectations.
Other Works by David Nicholls
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