Friday 6 November 2020

Our Life In A Day by Jamie Fewery @jamiefewery #BookReview @orionbooks #OurLifeInADay


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 . . .

Our Life in a Day by Jamie Fewery was published in April 2019 by Orion. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

This book has been on my shelf for such a long time. I've heard so many great things about it and I finally read it whilst on holiday last month in Corfu.

Our Life in a Day is one of those books that you just need to keep on reading. Luckily, holiday reading is perfect for that. Sit yourself down, grab a drink, some snacks (and you may need a box of tissues) and just dive in, you won't be going anywhere else for a while.

Tom and Esme are about to celebrate their tenth anniversary with a break away. Esme has devised a game, and Tom is given a block of post-it notes and asked to write down the twenty-four most significant moments of their relationship. One moment for each hour of the day. Esme is clear that she doesn't want just the good memories. She wants the whole truth, she wants to know the most important, not just the best.

It's a cleverly structured story, nipping back and forth, from the night that Tom saw Esme for the first time, to the arguments they've had along the way. By doing this, the author allows the reader to get to know the couple well. We are aware that neither of them are perfect, they have rocky times and they are as different as chalk and cheese. However, it's clear through Tom's memories that he's hiding something, and the author also hides the full truth from the reader. 

There's obviously been a major episode in Tom's earlier life that he's never shared with Esme. This is alluded to at time, especially by his mother, and it's clear that Tom really should have told Esme. The longer he's hidden it, the harder it becomes to admit it.

This is an emotionally charged novel, written with skill and a great deal of insight. Mental health issues amongst men is a massive issue in our country, but is rarely written about in fiction. I really admire Jamie Fewery for dealing with this topic, and for doing it so incredibly well.

This could easily have been a sweet, sentimental novel, but it isn't. It's hard-hitting at times, dealing with dark times and also the impact of a major revelation on a long-term relationship. Do we ever really know our loved ones?

This is a stunning debut novel, from an incredibly gifted author. I'm really looking forward to book two.

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. 

You can follow Jamie on Twitter @jamiefewery and Instagram @jamiefeweryauthor

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