One Day in December by Josie Silver
Release Date: October 16, 2018
Book Rating: 🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪
Love stories are not usually my thing. I couldn’t even finish One Day, and I found The Light We Lost more infuriating than heartwarming. That being said, man did One Day in December surpass my expectations. Josie Silver captured my heart with her portrayal of Laurie and Jack’s ten year love story beginning with a chance encounter from the window of a crowded bus. When Laurie spots Jack, waiting at a bus stop, their twelve seconds of eye contact are enough for her to believe in love at first sight *sigh.* The rest of the book covers the next decade of their lives, alternating between Jack’s point of view and Laurie’s.
I’m a fan of many aspects of this book. The first is how quickly Jack and Laurie find each other again after their initial ‘meeting.’ I was expecting a long, arduous struggle of pining away for one another with no hope of really seeing each other again. After all, if I happened to glance out the window of a bus and see someone attractive, never in my wildest dreams would I expect to ever see them again. That’s just not how real life works. For Jack and Laurie though, fate brings them back together in a catastrophically unexpected manner: Laurie’s best friend, Sarah, introduces Jack as her new boyfriend, never realizing that he is the “bus boy” she has been tirelessly trying to help Laurie find. I’ll take pause her to address Josie Silver’s ability to craft unique, believable, fully formed characters like Sarah. Sarah, is vastly different from Laurie. Her outgoing and fiery personality, her striking red hair, and her fierce loyalty make her not only extremely different from our protagonist, Laurie, but also make her someone I would want to be friends with. The time that was put into creating each well-rounded persona is reflected again and again with each newcomer to the plot. Not only did Silver make me care about the characters, she made each of their actions seem like a believable extension of who they were.
This novel does not tell a flimsy romantic story that allows the reader to comfortably float through a couple hundred pages with the assured knowledge that the two main characters will end up together — it has heft. Laurie and Jack deal with death, life-altering injury, career struggles, and extraneous relationship problems within the book’s 392 pages. Does this seem like too much? Is it drama after drama tossed onto a cute quirky love story to try to dress it up? No. Because in ten years, people do go through these rough patches, these sorrows, and these changes. When Jack was in a terrible accident, I was shocked and saddened. His lack of ability to bounce back and give Sarah the respect and attention she deserved was upsetting, but never felt like too much. Most heart-wrenching, Sarah’s reaction to finding out Jack was ‘bus boy,’ just before she was meant to be Maid of Honor in Laurie’s wedding, was realistic, and realistically painful. In fact, it physically hurt me to read it, and while the Sarah-Laurie relationship was on the line, I could’ve cared less about the Jack-Laurie relationship. The depth in this novel was unexpected and very welcome.
I don’t think I have much more to say about this story except, go read it! I didn’t even have time to bake during this read because I was too busy devouring every last page of Josie Silver’s writing. Instead, I grabbed a big old Panera chocolate chip cookie and called it a day. My first act as soon as I closed this novel was to frantically Google Josie Silver’s other books, of which, she has none. Fingers crossed that next time I check there will be an update about a forthcoming story I can start counting down to.