I read. A lot. Reading isn't just an escape. It is a love affair with words. My daily fix of words.
I'm not above reading a mind numbing Mills & Boons when I need distraction and certainty of plot. I will just as happily tackle a mind bending 1500 page book spanning centuries and multiple characters or an eye opening non-fiction book touching on various world topics from art to politics. Biographies are a particular favourite of mine.
And usually at least once a year one book on my never ending reading list will make me stop and catch my breath. It could be the subject matter, the beauty of the writing or the brilliance of the story told. It draws me in and holds me suspended and the ending of the book is a mini-death. I'm looking for more pages to turn... it simply can't be done.
The book that has done that for me this year is One Day by David Nicholls.
in a word -
Lent to me by my fellow bookworm friend Kim it is a seemingly easy reading book at the start. A couple meet on the day of graduation. Their whole lives ahead of them. A quick romp. Both intending to go their separate ways but somehow their lives become entangled and an unlikely friendship forms and a bond grows. A bond which defies their backgrounds, their futures, their beliefs. The story is told over 20 years but only a snippet - the anniversary of the day they met. You know you missing huge pieces of the puzzle. We all KNOW how much can change in a year but it almost doesn't seem to matter. You can't wait to turn to to the next chapter to see what the new year has brought the unlikely pair. Where are they now? How have their paths crossed this time?
The ending. Shocking. I was so totally unprepared for it.
What was it that made this book stand out so starkly for me?
At the end of it Emma was my age. This could have been my 20 years.
We live our lives at such a fast pace. I often hear myself saying I can't believe it's the end of the day / week / month. And here we are coming up to the end of 2014. What would it be like if we were to focus on just one day out of our year, every year, for the next 20 years. Reflect back on it. See where we were and where we ended up - despite all the ups and downs in between. Discard all of that in the intervening 364 days and just focus on that 1 single day. Take note of what you felt, thought, heard, dreamt of, cried about, laughed at.
Ask that question - was it important a year down the line - whatever it was that was bothering you a year ago. Dragging you down and making you doubt everything.
Thought provoking isn't it.