Foreign Policy Analyst • GIS Mapping Specialist • Bookseller • Freelance Writer & Photographer


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Tuesday 31 March 2020

Valentine’s Day Reading: A Review of Josie Silver’s “One Day in December”

Now you may be wondering why I would recommend a book for Valentine’s Day if it has December in the title, but trust me Josie Silver’s debut novel is full of enough charm, realism and tender moments to melt even the iciest hearts this Valentine’s Day. Across London, Scotland, Bali and Australia, we follow the friendship and foibles of Laurie, Jack and Sarah for almost ten years. While the central story is an emotional connection between Laurie and Jack with the romantic fervour to rival Love Actually; “One Day in December” is so much more than a simple love story. It is a highly relatable tale of one’s twenties, wherein Silver expertly addresses the themes of friendship, change and overall turbulence the decade carries in shaping the people we become.
“One Day in December” opens with Laurie heading home on the bus after a rotten day at work on a dreary December afternoon. Out of the window she spots Jack sitting in a bus shelter; he sees her and the connection between them is immediate, intense and utterly electric. Unfortunately, the bus speeds off before Jack has a chance to get on, and Laurie spends a year scouring every pub in London for this mystery-boy-from-the-bus-stop. She eventually finds him! When he is introduced to Laurie at her best friend Sarah’s party…as Sarah’s new boyfriend. Neither Laurie nor Jack mentions the moment at the bus stop to Sarah. Instead, the two attempt to bury their feelings and stay platonic for Sarah’s sake. 

Over ten years, we see the development of a profoundly beautiful friendship between three people; but one that is also authentic in its imperfection. Silver presents genuine characters that you can’t stop rooting for, despite their very human flaws. We learn of Laurie’s struggles with grief and loss, the way in which Sarah’s perfectionism masks deep vulnerabilities, and Jack’s inner demons threaten to derail his natural talent and ambition if he’s not careful. While many of the pivotal moments in the novel take place during the holiday season; the universal themes of love, loss, friendship and growth explored in this book make it an exciting and engaging story to get lost in any time of the year.

Silver has delivered a stunning read. If you’re in the mood for a modern romance full of unexpected turns and surprises, a nuanced cast of characters and an unshakable bond between two people; then grab a cup of tea and flip open “One Day in December”. Whether you’ve found your perfect person or you’re still on the hunt for Mr./Mrs. Right, “One Day in December” is a great book to curl up with this Valentine’s Day. It will make even the most cynical heart believe in love again!