One Day in December
Written by: Josie Silver
Read by: Eleanor Tomlinson & Charlie Anson
10 Hours and 27 Minutes
PRHA | Imprint: Random House Audio
Genre: Fiction – Women
Release Date: October 16, 2018
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader’s copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.
Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.
Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.
What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.
This is a “British Romance” — like those by Jill Mansell or Jenny Colgan — The descendant of British Chick Lit, or perhaps the logical, contemporary counterpart to the Regency Romance. It It has some funny bits and can be slightly steamy, but there’s a lot of dramatic events, but much of the story consists of those “Communication could solve the problem.”, Why did we waste so many years?” moments.
Both parties have to make mistakes with their lives, endure other relationships that affect their wishes to live an authentic life with the right person instead of a life in the wrong relationship. But, aside from maturing a bit, finding the right career path, overcoming grief and other obstacles (a set of difficulties that look much more complex written down together than in my thoughts) the major problems in this book, after not following one’s gut quickly enough, are missed opportunities to come clean, to acknowledge the truth.
I didn’t get the “ten chances” thing mentioned in the blurb until just now. It refers to the resolutions made each year, for ten years, by the characters.
This is a trope that bugs me. It is so easy to come clean, to reveal one’s feelings and thoughts; at least as easy as it is to lie and live with the aftermath. Of course admitting the “thing” not too far into the book, might have limited the book’s length, the author could have chosen to come clean at he start and develop other issues that would have allowed the couple to have obstacles unimpaired by the decision to lie by omission taking center stage. That involves delving more deeply into the feelings and experiences that advance the individuals to get to a point where they decide to be together. It’s possible fewer people would have been hurt by the truth. Your real friends will forgive you either way.
On the other hand, they do go through a lot and maintain a relationship and an attraction for quite some time. The misery they and others go through does bring them to a crucial point that might not have occurred otherwise.
Ugh, It;’s just THAT trope for ten years I have been decrying its popularity as an easy target, and too often turned to by authors. Although in real life poor communication is a problem I think there are reasons why and they are compounded with other issues that I believe to be bigger or that I think are the main causes of the communication problem rather than the other way around.
It’s a cute story, of course I rooted for Jack and Laurie. But, as the numbskull behavior goes on and on it became hard to wait for them to get together; and, since this is labeled as “women’s fiction’ and not “contemporary romance” there is no guarantee of an HEA.
The narrators, particularly Eleanor Tomlinson, did a good job. She gave Laurie a lot of personality, her insecurity and eventual growth, with out going over the top. Charlie Anson also gave Jack his personality, but he is not always a sympathetic character, and the smooth voice is perhaps too smooth. But is Jack is a character on whom I flip flop. Sometimes I liked him and others, not so much.
So, British romance, narrated well, and a decent value for the audible credit. If you do not feel as I do about the trope, as apparently many reviewers do not, you may love it.