Us

Nicholls, David

Published by Harper Perennial, 2015
ISBN 10: 1443438081 / ISBN 13: 9781443438087
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Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. Bookseller Inventory # G1443438081I3N00

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Synopsis:

David Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his international bestseller One Day to a compellingly human, deftly humorous new novel about what holds marriages and families together—and what happens when everything threatens to fall apart.

Douglas Petersen may be mild mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humour 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 Douglas 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 may 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 as well as the intricate relationship between the heart and the head. In David Nicholls’s gifted hands, Douglas’s odyssey brings Europe—from the streets of Amsterdam to the famed museums of Paris, from the cafes 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?

Review:

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, November 2014: At an ungodly hour one summer morning, a time when most of us cannot digest a simple greeting let alone any grand revelation, Douglas Petersen’s wife, Connie, informs him that she doesn’t want to be married anymore. Or rather, she’s not sure. Mind you, this is no fickle woman and this is not an admission she makes lightly. Connie and Douglas have been together, and happily so, for almost two decades. They have a son, Albie, more a chip off his artistic mum than biochemist dad, and that has strained the father-son dynamic. Will an ill-timed family vacation provide the opportunity Douglas needs to repair both relationships? With humor and with heart, David Nicholls of One Day fame takes us through every bumbling but well-meaning attempt in service to this goal. Lest you think the premise wreaks of a rom-com starring Hugh Grant, it is not a story tied up with a neat little bow. Nor is the precarious marriage portrayed as a consequence of cinematically-friendly scenes like slamming doors, flying frying pans, or people leaving the toilet seat up on purpose. Instead, Us delicately and intelligently untangles one of the more complex, heart-wrenching and relatable of relationship struggles—one in which there isn’t a villain to blame. You’ll be rooting for this family, and for another fine achievement from David Nicholls. –Erin Kodicek

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Us
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: 2015
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good

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