written by David Nicholls
published by Harper
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: I loved it.
I may have spent the weekend annoying my sisters by interrupting their manicures with quotes every few minutes . . . I hope they’ll forgive me. *grin*
Nicholls is, quite simply, a wonderful writer. His characters are so realistically written that, though I wanted to be firmly on the “Douglas was wronged” side of things, I found myself switching camps more than once. I don’t want to blather on about how well Mr. Nicholls writes “the human condition” or anything, but geez-o-man, he does. He really does.
“This is a love story, after all. Certainly love comes into it.”
“There’s a saying, cited in popular song, that if you love someone you must set them free. Well, that’s just nonsense. If you love someone, you bind them to you with heavy metal chains.”
Would I recommend it: If you’ve just gone through a split, I’d shelve it for a bit, but otherwise yes, absolutely.
About the book: David Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his enormously popular New York Times bestseller, One Day, to a compellingly human, deftly funny new novel about what holds marriages and families together—and what happens, and what we learn about ourselves, when everything threatens to fall apart.
Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date . . . and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce.
The timing couldn’t be worse. Hoping to encourage her son’s artistic interests, Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family, and she can’t bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best anyway? Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage, and might even help him to bond with Albie.
Narrated from Douglas’s endearingly honest, slyly witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves, and learning how to get closer to a son who’s always felt like a stranger. Us is a moving meditation on the demands of marriage and parenthood, the regrets of abandoning youth for middle age, and the intricate relationship between the heart and the head. And in David Nicholls’s gifted hands, Douglas’s odyssey brings Europe—from the streets of Amsterdam to the famed museums of Paris, from the cafés of Venice to the beaches of Barcelona—to vivid life just as he experiences a powerful awakening of his own. Will this summer be his last as a husband, or the moment when he turns his marriage, and maybe even his whole life, around?
“I loved this book. Funny, sad, tender: for anyone who wants to know what happens after the Happy Ever After.” —Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You and One Plus One
“Nicholls brings his trademark wit and wisdom to this by turns hilarious and heartbreaking examination of a long-term marriage…. This tender novel will further cement Nicholls’ reputation as a master of romantic comedy.” —Booklist (starred review)
“From the author of One Day—which was infinitely better than the movie—comes a pathos-laden love story about marriage on the brink of collapse.” —Entertainment Weekly, “A Dozen Books We’re Dying to Read This Fall.”
About the author: David Nicholls’s most recent novel, the New York Times bestseller One Day, has sold over 2 million copies and been translated into thirty-seven languages; he also wrote the screenplay for the 2010 film adaptation starring Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway. Trained as an actor before making the switch to writing, Nicholls’s previous novels includeStarter for Ten (originally published in the U.S. as A Question of Attraction), adapted into a film starring James McAvoy, for which Nicholls also wrote the screenplay; and The Understudy. He continues to write for film and TV as well as writing novels and adapting them for the screen, and has twice been nominated for the BAFTA awards. He lives in London with his wife and two children.