One Day in December by Josie Silver – 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
This may be my first five stars to a romance novel ever. And I may have had an emotional week, but ending this book with tears streaming down my face sealed the fifth star. Now that my keyboard won’t be in danger of being flooded… #AGoodCry #TooBeautiful
For those who love the long play, a complex development of relationships between all characters, the pain of reality and trying to follow your heart, and for anyone who just wants to read something beautiful and is willing to get a bit weepy
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.
You know that trope in romance stories, where two people hate each other and then come to realize they love each other madly? That’s not at all how the characters in this book feel about each other but it is how I felt about this book.
Since it’s a love-at-first-sight story, the romance was a bit lacking for me at first, because there was no build between the characters where I could get to know them and fall in love too, and enjoy the anticipation of love. It was hard to buy in to how Laurie couldn’t contain her grief when her bff Sarah started dating Jack, the love-at-first-sight target.
Then the story continued, for years. Actual complete years, at quite a rapid pace, really, where an abrupt sojourn to Thailand ends with our MCs falling in love with different people and making commitments and having very little to do with each other. At this point I was confused, because I’d grown to know and like all of the characters more, and thought maybe they won’t actually end up together? Maybe bus-stop-boy and bus-girl weren’t actually where this was headed? My emotions around this were complex, to say the least.
Years later (in the story), I’m turning the last page with tears streaming down my face without me having realized they started, and I’m cheering for someone named Rhoda. This is not how I expected the journey of this book to end, either for the characters or for myself, but WOW was this a whole new level of a romance novel. This goes past the whirlwind rose-colored-glasses stages, and wades through the difficult times in any long relationships, without giving any promises that everything will be ok. It was remarkably honest in a way that inevitably built that sense of love and romance that I felt had been missing in the beginning. We have it in spades, now, ok?
This isn’t heavy on the steamy stuff, but it’s mastery of emotions. Even if you’re not typically a romance reader, this is likely one that will suck you in. Evidenced by the fact that the copy I got from the library was thoroughly worn in with spine cracks and page bends galore, and honestly what seemed like some pages that had dried weirdly after getting wet (evidence of tears?!). And my god, do I understand why. That’s exactly as this book should be.
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