20 December 2010

I’m very late to the One Day party. But am so glad I came.

Going off-genre is always a risky business for me. My default setting screams “NO!” whenever someone tries to get me to read something that doesn’t have a sparkly pink cover and doesn’t fall neatly into a chick lit theme. But some very persuasive colleagues and chums, who’s opinions I trust immensely, told me One Day would leave me breathless, and quite frankly, they weren’t far wrong.

Obviously it’s a beautiful love story. Em and Dex were bought completely to life, and the impending sense of doom cranked up with just enough sensitivity that even though I know I was being played, I loved every minute of it. I’m delighted that Dex remained a selfish twat even in grief and even though I take issue with a few flaws in Em, I could completely see why she loved him to the bitterest of ends.

However, and here’s my thing. One Day is actually completely on-genre. Just cause it’s written by a man, and just cause it doesn’t have a pink cover, it completely centres around a couple, in love, and the obstacles stopping them being together. It's brilliantly written and all that, but I wonder, in a cynical raised eyebrow way, whether if it had had a pink cover, and been written by a women, the great and the good of the book critic world would have heaped just as much praise on it.

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