So I waited for my email to come that my preordered copy had been mailed and when it did, I was thrilled. When it came in the mail on release day, I couldn't have opened the package quick enough.
Just One Year begins with Willem in the hospital not really knowing what's going on. He'd just been attacked my the skinheads (something we learned in Just One Day) and knows he has to be somewhere, just not where. He has vague memories of the day before and of Lulu (aka Allyson) but by the time he remembers everything it's too late.
Willem lives the life of "accidents" that lead him on amazing adventures and introduces him to a rather interesting cast of characters. He meets a woman in Mexico who runs a theater camp out of New York, specializing in Shakespeare. He visits is mother in India and winds up playing the villain in a Bollywood movie.
I love learning more about Willem and watching him life is life for this year helps us understand who he is while giving us peeks into his past, family relationship, and friendships; we get a larger picture of this wanderer. I love that this novel is a romance, but at the same time it's not. It is so much more than that. Yes, Willem is searching for Allyson as he finds trouble getting over her, but it's also about him searching for and finding himself. His search for her is a bit tricker as he doesn't even know her first name and despite his almost giving up a few times, he realizes that he can't stop and most likely never will. Something in him kept looking for Allyson and through this search he finds himself and his double happiness.
Gayle did an amazing job of introducing us to these two characters and allowing us to spend a year with each of them after the events in Paris. I don't think I would have truly appreciated Allyson's story without Willem's or vise versa. I know that I definitely would not have appreciated Just One Night without Just One Year (but that's a review for next week).
I do wish I had read these two books closer in sequence, because while one scene was obvious that they were like 50 feet from one another, I have a feeling Gayle entered more little hints and nods to Just One Day that I missed since I hadn't read them closer together. I guess that's what rereads are for!