On the 15th July (St Swithin’s Day) every year, we get a glimpse of the lives of Emma the liberal thinker and ‘change the world’ kinda girl and Dexter the ‘lets just have fun’ and relaxed type of guy.
It all starts on their day of graduation, where they talk about their plans for the future over the next 2o years, or their lack of plans in the case of Dexter. These plans are what makes them believe that they are incompatible with each other, no matter what they feel for each other now.
Year on year, we see how they deviate from their ‘plans’. From a first read, it seems like they live through a whole life of a series of failures. Everything they made out to do, they didn’t do. They are usually always unhappy, and always thinking that other people were better off than them. This is whilst those other people thought the exact same thing about them. It’s the whole idea of ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ story.
But after further thought, you realise that, the first plan isn’t the only plan. What David Nicholls has successfully done is write a story about how actually life is. A constant deviation of ‘the plan’ and a relentless series of ups and downs.
Seeing Emma and Dexter live all their life thinking about what they want instead of what they have and always thinking about what they wanted in the future, meant that they didn’t look at what they had in the present. It’s definitely got me thinking about my present and thinking about whether I truly appreciate what I have.
The book ends with a rather unhappy ending (I don’t want to spoil it for you). But I guess that David thought that it’s a part of life, and it really kicked home how valuable it is to appreciate the time that we’ve got.
So overall I would say the book is, cute and different. We see two people grow, fail, fall in love, make mistakes and then overcome them. But I think most importantly, this books gets its readers to rethink about the way they view their lives and to start appreciating what they have more, as maybe what we don’t appreciate of ourselves another person envies.
Now I need to see the movie, see if that is as good as the book :)