We meet Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew after their first night together. They’re about to graduate from college and grapple with the mind-scrambling freedom that follows. In navigating the following 20 years – fame, lovers, false starts — both prove at times inept and adept at the what-co

I have trouble describing One Day in a compelling way, despite having loved every page of my experience with the paperback. Sorry, David.

It’s episodic, taking place in just one day, every year, for two decades.

Its movie stars Anne Hathaway affecting an English accent that ranks at a Madonna on the authenticity scale.

The story’s conceit is unabashedly soulmate-centric.

Gimmicky. Grating. Again?

But no! You’ll love it by chapter three: never judge a book by its movie. And the soulmate biz is handled in a way so realistic and believable that it actually broke my unsentimental heart at times.

The obstacles littering our pair’s paths to one another aren’t rom-com foibles of the phone number got flushed down the toilet or oops someone’s entangled with a cartoonish monster. Nor are they epic divides of war or social oppression. Instead “Dex and Em, Em and Dex” — the endearing way they both internalize the fact that people close to them tend to view them — are pushed apart time and again by the seemingly benign debris of real life’s journeys. They were challenges I recognized as I read them, and so understood how complicated they can feel. Career, self-esteem and familial highs and lows are timed in ways that don’t nurture a romance, soulmates or not.

And as some negative reviews note, there’s plenty to build an argument for not. The two can be likable and infuriating, together and apart. A lot, I would counter, like you and me and every boyfriend between us.

Insightful, entertaining and seriously so, so funny, I would recommend this book to any girlfriend.

Ok, so I can think of one compelling sentence about the book. Now, go!

And pick up a bottle of Francis Ford Coppola Sofia Riesling on your way. It’s a Riesling (it’s a romance) so it’s going to be sweet, but it’s a standout among peers because of its relative dryness. The wine – like this book –  is surprising and satisfying, and you’ll be dying to share it.