I’ve only just finished this book, and feel rather emotionally drained at the moment.
I don’t want to say too much, because I don’t want to give anything away, but I think the way that David Nicholls has put this story together makes you feel really involved with characters Emma & Dexter and their lives over the course of 20 years.
Even though the chapters are designed so that you see a ‘snapshot’ of their lives on one particular day of their lives over the 20 year span (15th July), the chapters are written in a way that makes you feel like you haven’t missed a thing.
And it works – you really buy in to the characters, care about them, want to help them, want to say “You idiot! Don’t do that!!” etc etc. And you’re rooting for them all the way through the book (even when they ARE doing the stupid things) because you know their history, and know how they’ve got to where they are.
it’s not the best written book that I have read, it certainly isn’t the most imaginative, but it is completely touching, surprising and very emotional.