One Day in December: #MonthlyTitles book review

Author: Josie Silver

Genre: Romance, Fiction, Holiday Fiction

Publisher: Penguin Books

Year: August 2018


Welcome to the final day of December, aka the day to post my review of One Day in December by Josie Silver. This is the perfect read to get you in a festive and romantic mood, to warm your heart and embrace you in its cosiness, wit, great writing and captivating plot. I’ll let myself trail off for a little bit, before I dive into the actual review.

To be completely honest, I read this book a few years ago, soon after it had been released, but I decided to re-read it for the challenge, so I can have fresh memories of it and to be able to give you an up-to-date opinion. And since it is the last day of the year, the New Year is almost here, it’s a good time for confessions and retrospection. There was a time when I was unable to focus on a book, I couldn’t make myself read and I’ve always done it with such pleasure and joy. Needless to say, as I struggled to pick up a book, I was suffering because I thought I’d never be able to immerse myself in one anymore, I thought I’d lost my ability to find joy and pleasure in reading. On the surface, I couldn’t care less, but deep down I missed it. The feeling of letting go of your worries, of your reality and thoughts, and the transportation to someone else’s world.

I believe every avid reader can relate to this. All of us have, at some point, found it difficult to read consistently over a certain period of time, for whatever reasons. Someone once said to me they also experienced this kind of reading rut and couldn’t focus on anything. They simply didn’t have the desire to sit down and read. It was because they struggled in their life at that same moment. To be in the mood for reading, you have to be in a good place mentally yourself, they said. If your thoughts are occupied by your own struggles and worries, how can you put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see the world through their eyes? I never thought of it this way and I found it to be very true.

So, coming back to One Day in December, it is a very special book for me, because it took me out of my reading break and showed me once more that reading can be fun again. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not only filled with joy, as seldom life is, it will rather take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. The characters experience all kinds of feelings and situations, something that is very characteristic to life itself. I was able to pick up reading again after I finished it. And it felt as it was before, as if I had never stopped. You will love this book. Hopefully, it will help you in a difficult moment, too.

Here is the blurb:

‘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.’

As I mentioned, the book has everything: love, romance, heartbreak, a little bit of hatred, disappointment, joy, pain, loss… Everything that life offers. The writing felt very genuine and simple, yet too close to reality. The narration alternates between Laurie and Jack’s points of view. The characters shared all their thoughts without fear of judgement or rejection. That’s one of the things I liked about this book, that it doesn’t pretend to be something that it isn’t. I won’t get tired of repeating that no one is solely good or bad, there’s something of both in everyone. The question is, which are you letting prevail? Does one bad decision make you a bad person? On the contrary, do you consider yourself a good person if everything you’ve ever done has been to please others and not listening to your own desires?

The theme of friendship is very much present throughout the whole story. Laurie and Sarah have been best friends since childhood but will their bond survive the test of one of them being in a relationship? Things get too complicated when the boy who gets between them is no other than ‘bus boy’, Laurie’s dream boyfriend who she only briefly locks eyes with while on the bus but can’t stop thinking about ever since. It is a book of missed opportunities, second chances, unspoken desires and protecting the ones we love at all costs, even if the price is our own happiness.

Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you may be celebrating this season! May it be filled with love, warmth, joy and laughter! And happy New Year, I’ll see you in 2023! Until then… #owlbeereading!

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