For One More Day follows Charley Benetto as he recounts his story – he had failed in his baseball career, in his marriage, he had drifted away from his wife and daughter because of alcohol and neglect, and finally ended up trying to kill himself. He crashes his car and when he next wakes up, his mother (passed away several years before) is standing right beside him. The story focuses on that one day he got with his mother, no matter how impossible or improbable that might is, and the things he realizes in that day.
This is a very easy to read book, basically the writing is nothing spectacular – it’s easy to digest, and the story is very much, how do I say this, commerical? I feel like a wide variety of people could read and enjoy this, or get something out of this, but I also think this might appeal to people who don’t really read that much. It’s that kind of book, like The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, that could easily make a non-reader fly through it, I feel like. As an avid reader though, and as a lover of beautiful writing, I definitely found it a little underwhelming. It’s a heartwarming tale and all, but quite a bit of the dialogue is so predictable, the really “powerful” lines feel unoriginal – especially the ones that come from Charley as he realizes how much his mother has done for him, what a brat he’s been all those years, what a piece of shit he’s been, etc. All of his realizations ends with a line that feels like they’re supposed to make quotes people hang in their house or use as their catchphrases – like “One day spent with someone you love can change everything.” – I get that these types of lines could strike many as inspirational, true, etc but to me, I just can’t help but cringe. It would’ve been fine if the book weren’t so piled up with these phrases.
Then there’s the “Times my mother stood up for me” and “Times I didn’t stand up for my mother” parts of the book, that basically had the same effect as above mentioned lines for me.
Anyway, it might seem as if I really didn’t like this book and that’s not the case at all. It’s fine, it’s heartwarming at times, and I get that this could be inspirational and really moving to others so it’s not like I’m saying don’t read it, but for me it was definitely just light entertainment. But at least it reminded me I definitely enjoy family focused stories, I don’t think I’ve really read that much of them and it’s something I want to change.