This week was our book club meeting, we were discussing One Day by David Nicholls. Our discussion was based on the questions posted on Monday. We were more or less in agreement that we liked the writing style and how focusing on one day a year meant some things were covered in a lot of detail whereas other events, including important ones, were only mentioned in passing. The structure of the book helped to make the characters seem more real. You saw them grow up, decide who they wanted to be and witness the mistakes they made on the way. Nicholls is very good at writing moments with good descriptions and feelings.
We agreed that Dexter and Emma would not have been happier if they had got together earlier. They had to grow up and discover who they were first. Also we didn’t think the Dexter actually loved Emma in a romantic way until later. Some felt that his love for her started as late as Paris. Lysy mentioned she felt it happened at the friend’s wedding – and other agreed – and many felt that the moment between the two in the maze was truly touching.
We didn’t think that Dexter ever really meant to send the letter he wrote in India and left in a book. It was a big gesture, perhaps what he felt he should be feeling rather than his actual feelings. He wrote it when he was confused.
Most of us were surprised by Emma’s death especially those of us that were not expecting something bad to happen. Those who knew there was a sad ending were surprised it came quite a way from the end of the book. It had seemed that it was more likely that something would happen to Dexter, given the way he was depicted in the book.
We thought that Emma should have left Ian sooner, and many of us felt that she was rather spineless. However some thought that she did love Ian, just not with any great passion.
We discussed the recent film adaptation of the book. Only one person had seen it, those who found the book a bit frustrating at times wondered if the film might be more enjoyable for them. We were unsure about the casting of the main characters. I think many of us will be watching the film soon to find out how it compares to the book – perhaps we might have a sew make believe film night!
On the whole, we didn’t really like Dexter and had mixed feelings about Emma, quite a few of us could see some of ourselves in Emma, others really did not like her. Again we have read a book that most of us have enjoyed despite not really liking the main characters.
Here are some of our comments:
“It wasn’t as compelling or engaging as I was expecting and I felt it dragged halfway through.”
“Very true to life dialogue…”
“I could relate to the characters and remember having similar feelings when growing up through those post-university, sometimes awkward, years.”
“I couldn’t put it down, even though I really disliked both Emma and Dexter.”
“Some really good observational passages”
“I wonder if part of my enjoyment/the amount I got out of the book was because I could relate to quite a few of the different situations covered?”
“Enjoyed it but found it frustrating, a bit too long.”
“I loved the description of the period and the concept.”
We agreed that the next book for our March Book Club is The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue, which is helpfully out in paperback next week. Here is the synopsis:
After a separation of many years, Emily ‘Fido’ Faithfull bumps into her old friend Helen Codrington on the streets of Victorian London. Much has changed: Helen is more and more unhappy in her marriage to the older Vice-Admiral Codrington, while Fido has become a successful woman of business and a pioneer in the British Women’s Movement. But, for all her independence of mind, Fido is too trusting of her once-dear companion and finds herself drawn into aiding Helen’s obsessive affair with a young army officer. …Based on blow-by-blow newspaper reports of the 1864 Codrington Divorce, THE SEALED LETTER, full of sparkling characters and wicked dialogue, is a thought-provoking mystery and gripping drama of friends, lovers and marriage.
The meetup will be on 21 March 2012.
We have also decided to read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins for our May Book Club. This is the first in a trilogy and we thought we could try and read all three especially as they are on offer in The Works at the moment!