Christmas is officially 10 days away and my December book of the month picks came in this past week. I’m still trying to say away from picking thrillers as I have quite a few of those still on my ‘to read’ shelf at the moment. Even with avoiding the thriller/mystery genre, I still ended up choosing two books this month. I’m weak people!
For my first pick, I choose One Day in December by Josie Silver. Now, I’m not a huge
romance novel reader, I’m too much of a realist and a bit too cynical to get onboard with most romance novels.
However, One Day in December seemed like it would be a Christmasy read and I LOVE Christmas, so I figured I was due for a good holiday romance.
For my second pick I choose Severance by Ling Ma. Which is more of a dystopia themed story. I’ve only just started reading this pick, so be on the look out for my review all about it once I finish it.
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.
“From now on, if anyone asks me if I’ve ever fallen in love at first sight, I shall say yes, for one glorious minute on 21 December 2008.”
To start, I received my Book of the Month order on Tuesday of this week. I’d had a very long day at work and had just finished an extremely exhausting 5 mile run and workout. By the time I’d made dinner I wanted to nothing more than to take a hot bath and crawl into bed. Mainly in an attempt to not fall asleep in the bathtub, I decided to start reading One Day in December. By the time the water had dipped to an uncomfortably chilly temp and I was forced to get out of the water, I was hooked on this book. And instead of going to sleep like a responsible adult, I finished the whole dang book! Needless to say I was sleep deprived on Wednesday morning, but it was worth it.
The story is told from the POV of both Laurie and Jack, with the transitions between the two being fairly seamless. I prefer an alternating POV. If I could have any superpower in the world, I would choose mind reading, and having multiple POVs in books is me basically getting my wish. For the sake of this story line though, it adds an incredible amount of depth to the plot. As the reader we know the lies and the struggle both Jack and Laurie go through. We see their attempts to avoid causing tension and awkwardness. We know all of their secrets and the secrets they keep to themselves and because of this I felt so much more invested in their story and their lives.
One of my favorite aspects of the novel though is Silver touching on one of the biggest fears, I believe, people struggle through in life. Which is simply how do we show and tell others how we feel without succumbing to the fear of rejection? She also plays on the what if factor. I’m sure we all playback events and conversations in our lives, what if I would have just said ‘Hi’, what if we didn’t break up, what if we had broken up, what if I would have just tried one more time. Those ‘what if’ scenarios are enough to drive someone mad, but in this novel it’s enough to keep the reader avidly engaged and wanting more.
I will say that while reading this book I confirmed that I might be a little bit of a cynic, shocker! With roughly a hundred pages left, I did find myself wishing the story had finished already. Not for any reason other than, I’m not a person who needs a happy ending. Even though I enjoy reading to escape reality for a time, I still want my story lines to fall within the realm of reason. And at about page 390 I vividly remember looking at the clock, looking to see how many pages were left, and then whispering ‘this seems like it would have been an ideal ending’. But it wasn’t the end and the story line was still engaging enough that I stayed awake to finish the book.
I definitely thought more Christmas would be involved. The book takes place over the course of ~10 year period and while it starts and ends during a day in december (obviously) the majority of the story takes place during other months. If you’re looking distinctly for a Christmas read, you might want to look elsewhere but if you’re looking for a easy read to go through while on holiday than this if for you.
Lastly, Silver touches on so many themes throughout the story and I felt that she represented them beautifully. Some of the issues dealt with in this story were death and loss, divorce, relationship struggles including friendships and marriages, feelings of inadequacy, and overall just maintaining the right balance of career vs. personal life. The theme of loss and sickness resonated with me especially and the way they were portrayed within the story made me feel as if I was back in those moments. There may have been a few tears shed on my end.
If you love a good rom-com you’ll absolutely love this book. One Day in December is light, fun, witty, and has just enough realism to not mimic a telenova. It warmed my heart a bit and while the ending isn’t entirely surprising the way Silver tells the story is brilliant. Her characters are full of warmth, flaws, resilience, and just a touch of sass If I could curl up on the couch with a book like this one every night, I think my stress levels would seriously decrease. Give it a go this holiday season and get it here.
If you’ve already read One Day in December tell me what you thought about it below! Do you have any other great holiday read suggestions?
Happy Reading Folks!
What is Book of the Month?
For those who haven’t heard of Book of the Month club or BOTM, it is a subscription program, similar to audible or other box subscription services, where you get (you guessed it) a new book every month. Each month members are given 5 different books to choose from. BOTM generally focusing on debut and emerging writers, and is known for having helped launch the careers of some of the most acclaimed authors in American literary history. In an attempt to read more books outside my favorite genres without having to siphon through all the duds, I decided to sign up for the monthly subscriptions. It costs me $14.99 per month, I choose 1 of the 5 books on the first of every month, and it’s delivered straight to my door. You can skip any month or roll your credits over to the next month, at any time. Since I started getting BOTM back in February, I’ve really enjoyed some of the new authors I’ve been exposed to. If you’re interested in joining BOTM, I’ve add my referral code to the bottom of this post, which if you use, you’ll be able to get your first month (book) free!
Interested in joining Book of the Month? Get a free book when you join using my referral link.