Despite my hours of discouragement from dating apps, and my continuous — and this is no exaggeration — torture at the hands of the cis-gendered, heterosexual male Gen-Y population, I am nevertheless a firm and complete indulger in anything that has to do with fated romances. Perhaps its in my blood. My parents, for example, are without a doubt what I and many would describe as soulmates. And yes, there are times that I simplify to the idea that there are many possible partners for each of us and we, out of a choice of love, commit ourselves to one for our foreseeable futures at a point in our lives. Or we very well don’t! Many are happy without all that hubbub. But me? I want it. I want it badly.
Which means I force friends through rom-coms and pick up romantic novels, this time leading me to Josie Silver’s One Day in December, a charming, winning debut with the enticing tagline “Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.” I mean, c’mon, people!
The story begins with our heroine Laurie on the London bus making eye contact with her perfect man who sits at the bus stop on a snowy December evening. He attempts to board, seemingly to meet her, but doesn’t catch the bus before it departs. She searches for him for a year, only to be reintroduced the next December to him — this time as her roommate and best friend’s boyfriend. What ensues is ten years of friendship, missed connections, and pure heart that kept me so enraptured that I read it in three sittings.
Three. Sittings. I work in publishing and I will tell you that I haven’t been so enthralled with a “pleasure read” in months to plunge in so deeply to a world beyond the present reality.
This book will not with the PEN/Faulkner, the Nobel, or the Booker. It will not be the one whose quotes will litter your pinterest “recommended” feed like the litany of John Green ones that you can’t escape.
What it will be? It will be the one you return to on a snowy weekend for a sitting in which you engorge yourself on whimsy and heart alongside red wine — a pour Laurie and Sarah would approve of. It will be the one that gives you hope when it seems lost amidst the thousand profiles you viewed that day on Match.com, all of them strangely with a lazy eye (no offense to those with it…). It will remind you that although you may belong with someone, there are other loves (no spoilers), and that although not every love is fated, that doesn’t mean they’re toxic (a lesson I need reminding of frequently). And it will instill in you a deep romantic belief that there is a someone for everyone — you’ll just have to wait for your day in December to meet them.