*If you are new here, WELCOME! For One Day in December, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!
One Day in December is Josie Silver’s debut novel, released in 2018. It was featured in Reese’s Book Club and has gone on to be a New York Times bestseller.
While this isn’t your Pulitzer prize winning book club pick, it is a really great love story with true-to-life characters and a love triangle plot that will have you reading until the end. It is a wonderful read if you’ve just finished something heavy. And, (hint hint title), it’s a great read for the holidays.
To give you a quick idea of whether or not you’ll like the novel, consider if you liked Bridget Jones’s Diary or Love Actually. If you did, then you’ll love this novel, which has similar themes as both books.
While some reviewers have classified this as a rom-com, I would say it leans just outside of that category and into the women’s fiction category by a hair. While you will get some of the classic rom-com feel, the characters also deal with some deeper internal struggles than you see in pure romance. The primary conflict arises because the main character cannot confess to her close-as-a-sister best-friend that the man she’s fallen in love with is the man the main character already fell in love with.
Friendship and what it means, what loyalties it asks of a person, is the primary issue explored. In addition, the main character experiences a self-discovery growth arc, as do several other characters.
One Day in December is also written in an interesting form, telling the story in short scenes that spread out over a period of ten years. Silver did a masterful job creating a unique form where such a long stretch of time is covered without leaving the reader feeling frustrated or confused.
I will say the characters in the book are young. The book begins with them just out of university (early twenties). And there are enough cocktails, sexual innuendos, and curse words to go around. But most of the sex, save a couple of brief scenes, stays off page. If those things really bother you, then stay away. I will admit that too much cursing gets on my nerves, but, for some reason, it didn’t bother me in this book.
I definitely expect this book to become a film sometime in the future. As I read, I was constantly casting the characters with movie stars, which is not my normal modus operandi. If Sam Claflin and Emilia Clark are looking for a screen reunion after Me Before You, this is it. Who did you picture playing the roles? Isla Fisher for Sarah? Okay, I’ll stop.
One Day in December is good read for any book club that likes light reads featuring friendship, self-discovery, and romance. You can trust me or the 5,500 + other 4-5 star reviews on Amazon. In any event, there is plenty to discuss about One Day in December and who doesn’t love a good love story? On that note, I’ve provided book club questions and a delicious recipe for One Day in December, so if you are looking for food ideas and more, keep reading!
Here’s a brief summary of One Day in December:
When Laurie sees the man of her dreams outside her bus one December day, she sets out on a year-long quest to find him again. Never does she expect her best friend to show up at their next annual Christmas party with him on her arm. Sarah is giddy and completely in love with Jack and Laurie doesn’t have the heart to admit he’s the one she’s been searching for. The problem is, Jack recognizes Laurie as well and he can’t deny he felt something that day at the bus stop, too.
As the years pass, the trio learns to navigate adult life, enduring the heartbreaks of friendship and love, mourning for lost opportunities, and clinging with youthful hope for second chances.
For the One Day in December recipe:
Throughout the book, Laurie and Sarah share a special sandwich, the Delancey Street Special, which Sarah created in their very first apartment together. It’s a strange combination of ingredients, but it’s the girls’ signature comfort food when they are struggling through something together. We see them mention or partake of the sandwich several times throughout the novel.
Surprisingly the strange mix of ingredients makes a unique and quite good sandwich. It is full of flavors that keep you taking bites as you try to dissect exactly what it is about the sandwich that works. If you don’t know, the Delancey Street Special combines mayo, blue cheese, cranberry sauce, lettuce, and roasted chicken.
Don’t get me wrong, the sandwich won’t be for everyone, but it’s a great way to share the experience of the book and discuss the characters! If you’re absolutely against trying it, make a slew of cocktails instead. Try Sarah’s rum punch or a twist on Jack’s whisky.
If you are interested though, I have a recipe for you. While Silver does share a recipe for the sandwich in the back of the book, I made a few edits of my own. The below recipe is for one sandwich, so multiply by the number of attendees in your book club! So if you are looking for food suggestions for One Day in December, look no further!
The Delancey Street Sandwich
- 2 slices sour dough or whole wheat bread
- 1 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons whole berry cranberry sauce*
- 1 tablespoon of blue cheese
- 2-3 slices of roasted chicken thick sandwich cut
- 2-3 lettuce leaves
- Heat a skillet on medium heat as you prepare the sandwich.
- Spread ½ tablespoon of mayonnaise (or butter) on the two slices of bread. This will be for the outer sides of the sandwich which you will heat in the pan.
- Spread the remaining tablespoon of mayonnaise on the inner sides of the two slices.
- Next, spread the two tablespoons of whole berry cranberry sauce on top of the mayonnaise.
- Sprinkle the tablespoon of blue cheese evenly across the cranberry sauce.
- Place the 2-3 slices of chicken on top of one slice and close the sandwich by placing the other slice on top.
- Cook the sandwich as you would a grilled cheese, cooking 3-4 minutes on each side until the bread browns.
- Remove from the pan onto a plate.
- Gently open the sandwich and add the lettuce. (You can add the lettuce before cooking, but adding after the sandwich is cooked keeps the lettuce crisp and cold, which is a nice addition to the warm sandwich).
- Repeat for as many sandwiches as needed and serve as soon as possible.
One Day in December Book Club Questions:
*WARNING: May contain spoilers!
- After searching for a year, Laurie finally finds Jack. Why do you think she decides to stay quiet about it? Why does Jack? Do you think Laurie and Sarah’s friendship would have taken a hit even if Laurie had told her right away?
- What did you think of Jack’s character? He often makes bad choices and sleeps around quite a lot in the book. Did you think he was good enough for either Laurie or Sarah? Why or why not?
- Near the beginning of the book, Laurie mentions both Bridget Jones’s Diary and Love Actually, giving us clues to the book. Did you wish Silver wouldn’t have done this? How does the book’s storyline compare and contrast to the other stories?
- Discuss the friendship between Sarah and Laurie. Why do you think it lasts so long? What does Sarah contribute to the friendship, what does Laurie?
- When Jack and Sarah finally split up, they part amicably saying that together they were 90%. Do you believe that there is a 100% for everyone? Why or why not?
- Did you think that Sarah’s response to finding out about bus boy’s identity was justified? Should she have stayed at the wedding despite her feelings? Did you feel she unjustly attributed too much blame on Laurie? Why or why not?
- Laurie loves both Oscar and Jack and they are very different men. Who did you think was the better match for her? Why?
- Laurie finally finds her own voice when Oscar pushes the Brussels move. Why do you think it takes her so long to realize her own needs? How does Oscar’s career drive differ from Jack’s?
- Spanning almost ten years and told in short bursts that often skip many months, the form is unique. What did you think of the way the book was written? Were you glad to hear Jack’s voice as well as Laurie’s?
- What did you think about the ending of the book? How did you envision Jack and Laurie finally reuniting? Did the ending feel out of character or just right?
Have you read One Day in December? What did you think? Did you think it was trashy chick lit or did you love it? What are some similar books you’ve read?
Until next time, Happy Reading!
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