Just Read: “One Day in December” by Josie Silver

Read July 1, 2020 – July 2, 2020

It’s Christmas in July! I decided this month I would read a couple of holiday-themed novels and this particular book has been on my TBR list for over a year. Josie Silver’s first novel made waves when it was published in 2018 and was even chosen as one of Reese’s Book Club picks. Christmastime is associated with family and love and snow, even if you’re nowhere near it – I know I’m not, the closest thing to snow here in Florida is a snow cone…Silver’s novel delivers some of those holiday characteristics.

What is it about? 

Finding and losing love and then that love being stuck by your side for a really long time. The narrator, Laurie, makes eye contact with this guy, Jack, and falls in love immediately. Her best friend Sarah tries to help her find him because they never got to speak – it was a.. I see you all the way over there and I love you but now my bus is moving and I may not see you ever again.. situation. Sarah unknowingly also falls in love with him a year later and ends up introducing him to Laurie as the love of her life. Awkward.

Laurie has her chance to speak up, to announce he’s the bus stop mystery man, and doesn’t, putting herself in a very sad spot as she watches her best friend and the guy she loves get off together swimmingly. She tries moving on and even has an Eat, Pray, Love adventure but her heart will always have a place for the thing that could have been. Her friendship with Sarah, and now also with Jack, is tested and she has to figure out how to live in this really crappy reality.

What does it have?

  • Love at First Sight
  • Best Female Friendships
  • Mid-Twenties Life
  • Betrayal

Although the book lacked the Christmas vibes I was hoping for, Silver is still a good writer. The book isn’t explicitly marketed as a Christmas-themed but I had the expectation it was anyway – something about the title… Silver’s description of the emotion between friends and lovers, along with her general storytelling, is enjoyable and detailed. She nails the descriptions on the head as she writes Laurie’s narrative, especially when describing others. She writes, “He’s not film-star good-looking or classically perfect, but there is an air of preppy disheveledness and earnest, “who me?” charm about him that captivates me” (One Day in December). The words come off the page and you can actually picture what the guy looks like and the type of attitude he might have without reading the traditional stats of a person: eye color, hair color, height, etc.

Is it worth reading?

I think so, as long as you’re not expecting a Christmas theme. The one thing I kept searching for with this was the holiday vibe and I didn’t feel it at all. It is a good story, though, and you follow the lives of these people over many years so you get to see how their lives evolve and change. 

What’re some of your favorite Holiday novels? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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