Blurb from Goodreads
A love story about what happens after you meet, or rather, don’t meet the one.
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.
One December day Laurie is sitting staring out the window of a London bus when suddenly her eyes meet a man that makes her believe in love at first sight. In those brief moments Laurie and this stranger share a connection so deep that she knows he’s the one… But then the bus pulls off. And he’s gone forever. Laurie tries to find him over the course of the next year to no avail. And then the following Christmas she meets him again. The only problem is he is her best friend Sarah’s new boyfriend Jack and Sarah, is possibly even more in love with him than Laurie is.
The book follows the lives of these three characters over the course of the next ten years as they all try to find out what falling in love versus staying in love with someone really means.
This is definitely a book for fans of romantic comedy/dramedy type films as you will LOVE all the little nods to all your favourites (Love Actually, Four Weddings, Bridget Jones…. Basically anything with the fabulousness that is Hugh Grant! With a little Nora Ephron magic thrown in to the mix too!) It’s an easy, comforting read that will provide the reader both with a lot of laughs and a lot of tear-filled moments. Fans of light romantic fiction will not be disappointed with this book as it ticks every box that a reader expects from this genre eg likeable female lead, great female friendship, dream guys, crazy in-laws, jealous exes… Etc etc. It’s a whole lot of comfortably familiar fun. What is a nice little break up from traditional light romantic fiction is that this book also includes chapters from Jack’s point of view and this really does help to illustrate the great divide between how men and women can view relationships and can interpret the same run of events so differently!
This wasn’t a perfect book for me though. I did feel as if the friendship aspect of the relationship between Laurie and Jack was merely stated to the reader rather than us ever truly seeing them build that history or “past” together. Very soon into the book they started referring to each other as old friends and it just slightly grated with me. I think one or two more more instances of them developing their early friendship would have helped me as a reader to truly see their connection. It was all well and good saying they had an instant spark that initial day they met but I just needed a little more page time with the trio of Laurie, Sarah and Jack to fully feel that Laurie and Jack were going to be best friends for life.
I think this is best described as a book with a great story and some truly memorable scenes (Grease secret cinema, the radio phone call) rather than a book with memorable characters. Many of the supporting characters were described as little more than stereotypes with Oscar being a character that I felt was hugely underdeveloped and was only ever there as a plot device.
The book, however, had a nice easy flow to it and it ambled along amiably to a very satisfying (if incredibly sign-posted!) ending but it did feature my absolute favourite scene from the book. So incredibly, ridiculously, over-the-top cliched and fabulously romantic and I unashamedly loved it!!!! It’s up there with the ending to Sleepless in Seattle and Notting Hill (two of my fav rom-coms!).
A book that would make for a lovely festive read because of how the month of December is frequently highlighted in the storyline, but also a book that can be read and enjoyed at any time of the year because the events of the plot are not just confined to one month of the year.
Recommended to fans of rom-coms.
three and a half stars
*An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Penguin Books UK, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2018