Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
2:40 pm EDT
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Book Club: ‘One Day’

The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America.

Story: Diane Dean

What happened on a random Sunday – December 28, 1986 – is the basis for the book One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America by Gene Weingarten. 

The usually slow news of a typical Sunday combined with the lull between Christmas and New Year’s might discourage a lesser author, but not Weingarten, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist and master storyteller.

Six years were spent researching events, interviewing the participants and compiling stories. In this book, each chapter begins with a key event that happened to someone on 12/28/1986 and proceeds to revealing how the event changed the course of their lives.

The topics cover murders, first dates, spousal abuse, rescue attempts, weathervanes and heart transplants. Americans from Miami to Flagstaff and from California to Rhode Island are portrayed in slices of what went on in the country on that one ordinary day. People grapple with moments of significance that include betrayal, faith, justice, adventure, and of course, love. The author weaves facts and heart, at times with his own brand of humor. 

Some chapters, named for the city where the event began, are uncomfortable, painful, far from endearing, even judgmental on the author’s part according to some readers. Other stories make one smile or laugh out loud. Or one might recall their own memories from that era and how they felt. Each day notes the time of day the story began and moves forward to “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey used to say. 

In the book, Weingarten states, “The events of a single day are hard to hold on to in the relentless flow of time, the most powerful and mysterious force of all. Everything moves on.” The author is also quoted as saying, “There’s a story in everything, and there’s no such thing as an ordinary day.” 

Want to read more about what happened on December 28, 1986?   “One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America” can be found at Target, Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble.