Monthly Book Club
One Day In December by Josie Silver
Silver’s lovely debut follows two young Londoners after a missed connection alters the course of their lives. Laurie, newly out of university, spots Jack while on the bus one December afternoon. Seated in the bus shelter along the sidewalk, Jack gazes back at Laurie and something electric happens. Over the next year, Laurie contemplates the moment, searching for Jack in vain until he shows up at her door for a holiday party—as her friend’s boyfriend. Laurie doesn’t mention anything, and neither does Jack. Silver, who is keenly aware of her influences (there is an immediate reference to the film Love Actually, and Laurie has a self-described love of Nora Ephron), divvies up chapters between Laurie and Jack. The story follows them through awkward dinners, double dates, and birthday celebrations that are full of highly flirtatious scenes where the two attempt to keep their mutual affection hidden. As they age, flaws also slowly rise to the surface, such as Jack’s cruel streak and Laurie’s problematic consumption of alcohol. Silver’s propulsive narrative is enjoyable, and the mix of tension and affection between Jack and Laurie is charming, addictive, and effective. Readers who like quirky love stories will be satisfied by this cinematic novel.