A real pleasure today to be joining the blog tour and sharing my review of Our Life in a Day by Jamie Fewery, published in paperback on 18th April by Orion, and also available as an ebook and audiobook. My thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for the invitation, and to the publishers for my advance reading e-copy (provided through netgalley).
It’s always a bit of a leap in the dark when signing up to review a debut, but I was reassured to see the many endorsements – and the torrent of “I loved this one” posts on Twitter from blogging friends who’d already read it. And I’m delighted to report that I loved it too…
The rules are simple: choose the most significant moments from your relationship – one for each hour in the day.
You’d probably pick when you first met, right?
And the instant you knew for sure it was love?
Maybe even the time you watched the sunrise after your first night together?
But what about the car journey on the holiday where everything started to go wrong? Or your first proper fight?
Or that time you lied about where you’d been?
It’s a once in a lifetime chance to learn the truth.
But if you had to be completely honest with the one you love, would you still play?
For Esme and Tom, the game is about to begin. But once they start, there’s no going back . . .
Following Esme and Tom’s relationship over twenty-four individual hours of ups, downs and everything in between, Our Life in a Day is the most heartbreaking and moving love story you’ll read in 2019 – perfect for fans of Josie Silver’s One Day in December, Jojo Moyes, and Roxie Cooper’s The Day We Met.
On the face of it, I’ll admit that this didn’t look like book I’d enjoy – the unusual structure driven by the game and the pile of post-it notes, the hours selected for their significance to Tom and Esme’s relationship, the focus on alcohol and male mental health. And have I ever mentioned how I just didn’t get on with David Nicholls’ One Day? I couldn’t help thinking that I’d probably feel the same about this book, as I picked it up with a sigh, prepared to try to find some positives to include in a review.
But that was until I put it down at the end, a few hours later – with a feeling of loss, like saying goodbye the closest of friends, people who’s lives I’d been part of, having experienced every possible emotion, and more than a little tearful. This book is simply wonderful – an emotional experience I’m unlikely to forget, and an absolute triumph in every way.
The writing is superb – the characters are real people, living their lives, feeling their moments of joy and anguish – and it was something rather special, and immensely uplifting, to be allowed to share those moments. And the structure really works, in a way I never imagined it would – almost a series of linked shorter stories, snapshots from life, slowly revealing a tangled web of secrets – and it’s even more impressive from a debut novelist who entirely owns the story he tells.
I don’t think I need to go into any more detail – read it, feel it, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. One very special book.
About the author
Jamie Fewery is an author, journalist and copywriter. He has written for the Daily Telegraph, Five Dials and Wired, and works for a London-based marketing and creative agency. He lives in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire with his wife and son. Our Life in a Day is his first novel. You can follow Jamie on Twitter @jamiefewery and Instagram @jamiefeweryauthor.