I've always been a fan of Italian literature. But, I don't really know what it is that makes me like books by Italian authors so much. Perhaps it's the way they write; like good old storytellers. Perhaps it's the subjects they occupy themselves with; like love and remembrance. Or perhaps they seem familiar to me because I also come from a country that's washed by the Mediterranean Sea. Whatever the reason, Italian books make me feel good, and the one at hand does that better than most.
One More Day is the story of two seemingly different people that cross paths time and again. At the beginning that happens by pure luck, but as time goes by they start trying to steal glimpses of each other at any given chance. He's Giacomo and she's Michela, and their story is a story of love and loss, of failure and new beginnings.
As we follow the heroes from Italy to New York, and finally to Paris, we get to know them very well; and we get to like them. They are very human, full of weaknesses and fear, full of hopes and dreams. I guess one could say that the whole story revolves around dreams. The dream of getting away from everything and everyone that keeps you trapped in a cage; the dream of starting anew in a different land; the impossible dream of learning to love all over again by playing a game.
That's what Giacomo and Michela do, they play the game of love, time and again, but not for very long. Win or lose, at first that doesn't seem to matter to them. What matters is to get to know each other well, and to get to enjoy what each of them has to offer. They meet, they talk, they drink, they listen to great music and they make love, and the words flow like a serene stream on the page: "I wanted to become a hunter of emotions and memories," he says. "We have been kicked outside of ourselves," she states. "She was the door I had the courage to open," he thinks and smiles.
I could keep writing quotes for a long time, but I won't do it, since some of the magic of this book can be found in them, and I wouldn't like to take that pleasure away from you.
I will tell you though, that if you are someone who enjoyed movies like Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight (yes, that great Paris trilogy), you will love this book. The prose is exquisite, the plot is simple and yet intriguing, and the feelings are as real as one could ever find in the pages of a novel. The author seems to inhabit the bodies and the souls of his characters and thus manages to give us a story that's hard to forget. This novel is a must-read for me.
It has taken me a long time to finish this novel, but that was only because I was so enthralled by its heroes and their world that I wished it could go on and on. Of course, there are other books, as there are other stories; stories that remind us about the most important things in life; like how much it matters to be our own selves and chase our own impossible dreams. Just like Giacomo and Michela did.