*SPOILER ALERT* There are many specific references in this review about chapters 8-10 – in case you haven’t been able to read them yet.
I am so annoyed by both Ian Whitehead and Suki Meadows – it’s as though Emma and Dexter are putting in extra effort to stay away from each other. Not that I believe they should be together, but at least find a suitable mate. Ian is a grown baby. His habits are repulsive, he is annoyingly insecure and his need for Emma’s motherly attention makes me gag. Nicholls tries to remind us that Emma thinks he’s terrific (156) but gives us nothing to hang on to. For once, I completely agree with Dexter who tries to like Ian for the sake of his friendship with Emma, but there really is nothing to like.
Then, there’s Suki who is supposed to be bubbly and cute and all-around fantastic. I cannot read her dialogue. I didn’t realize just how hard caps are on the eyes until I tried to read Suki Meadows- just awful; I must admit, I pretty much skipped right over everything she says. I can’t say I was terribly impressed by these chapters. I understand that Nicholls is trying to capture twenty years in the lives of these characters…but having to read about Ian and Suki made me wish he would have skipped over a few years.
What I have enjoyed most about this book is Emma and Dexter’s witty dialogue and these chapters really didn’t have much of that. I get it – they’ve grown apart. They have a huge fight where they essentially “break up”, and that exchange is also imbued with each character’s clever remarks; however, unless Emma and Dexter are in a chapter together the book becomes so…well, so boring. It was definitely a challenge to read these chapters…I really hope the next four pick it up a bit…
I do appreciate Nicholl’s attempt to show the parallels in their lives: Emma must overcome the student fight that breaks out moments before the play opens and Dexter must overcome the nasty newspapers calling him “the most odious man on television” (162); Emma must appease the headmaster and Dexter must make amends with Suki; Emma’s show is a roaring success and Dexter’s an abismal flop. All the while, each thinks of the other in her or his own way. They are so connected, yet so far apart and it is sad that two people create so many obstacles for finding true happiness.
This of course is truer for Dexter than for Emma. Emma notices the changes in her friend and we do too. Dexter completely takes Emma for granted. Their fight that ends with Emma admitting she loves, but doesn’t like, Dexter is what he deserves. Yet, the feeling of loneliness and waste is left – whatever shall they do now? And, I hope this break-up doesn’t last too long because how ever will I read the rest of this book without their witty exchanges? The future looks grim for Emma, Dexter and me…
I was ecstatic, gleeful and almost did a little dance when Emma finishes the relationship with Ian. But, my confidence in Emma fell just a little further when I realized she has an affair with the creepy headmaster. Really, Emma Morely? The man that your students call “the beard” and “monkey boy”?
Well, I guess it’s obvious that my interest in this book is sharply decreasing – but, I’ve never left a book unfinished. I just can’t do it. So, I will soldier on with One Day and hope that it gets better.