July 15, 1988, Saint Swithin's Day, graduation day at Edinburgh University in Scotland and the day our story begins. Emma is working class and idealistic, and she's spent the last few years crushing on classmate, Dexter, a privileged boy, who has never paid her much attention. But, they spend the night of their graduation together, mostly talking, with a little fooling around, and the following day. Thus begins the lifelong friendship and love story between the two.
The book checks back in with the two each St. Swithin's day and the reader steps into the world of Emma and Dex as they navigate the real world, young adulthood, how they want to make names for themselves and leave their marks on the world. They love and they suffer losses and even flow in and out of each other's lives as they find out who they are and who they want to be.
I enjoyed this book. It didn't ask much of the reader, just that you let the author take you for a little excursion from your own life and woes, petty or otherwise. I'm pretty sure most adults can see, at least a little, of themselves in Dex and Emma. I found the premise inventive and interesting and the story to be realistic enough, in its fanciful way. This isn't a book that requires the parsing of symbols. Norton will never release an annotated version with the thoughts of literary scholars. And, sometimes that can be a good thing. This would be an excellent beach read. Pop it into your bag, and if you are like me, once you are slathered in sunblock and safely under your umbrella, you'll be ready to read.
Stop! Trailer Time!