One Day: Is Nisha Halliday a Real Children’s Book Series?

Life takes Emma and Dexter through many ups and downs in Netflix’s ‘One Day.’ The couple meets on July 15, 1988, and have a brief fling, which they believe would be the last they’d see of each other. By the end of the day, things work out such that they not only end up being in touch with each other, but the next two decades of their lives are so intrinsically linked that no matter how far they go, they always keep coming back to each other. In this journey, Emma’s life goes through a significant change, especially after she becomes a published author. The book receives rave reviews and becomes a life changer for Emma, which is enough to make one curious about the book and wonder if it’s real. SPOILERS AHEAD

The Nisha Halliday Books are Entirely Fictional

For Emma Morley, it had always been about telling stories. Her only dream is to write great plays that are of cultural and political significance, but life doesn’t just hand that success to her. She has to toil for it with sweat, tears, and intense moments of self-doubt. When she does eventually write something, it comes from an intimate place, and that’s what makes her book so successful. Unfortunately, that book is not real and is not unavailable outside the world of ‘One Day.’

While the book may not be real, Emma’s journey to get to it is rather realistic. When author David Nicholls started writing the book, he based Emma’s journey partially on his own experiences as a struggling actor and writer. Like her, he, too, worked odd jobs to make ends meet while trying to make it in the field that he actually liked. It took years for Nicholls to get there, going through a journey of his own, and eventually, he too found success by writing stories that were close to him and felt like he was baring his heart to the world.

The Netflix adaptation adds another layer to Emma’s journey by exploring the character’s South Asian heritage, which is where her novel’s protagonist, Nisha Halliday, comes from. The actress Ambika Mod is also a comedian and a writer, so her character, Emma, who is writing a book that is humorous and fun, feels quite close to her character. Mod herself has not authored any books yet, but she has been an active writer, working on her stand-ups and also helping to make Emma more real and relatable by suggesting some tweaks here and there. While the Nisha Halliday books are not real, for Emma, they are the turning point she’d been praying for. They finally give her the kind of life she wanted and worked hard for all these years.

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