Author: David Nicholls
Published: September 2014, Harper
Format: ARC Paperback, 416 pages
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
David Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his New York Times 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 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 Douglas that 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 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 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?
We were asked to share this video that author David Nicholls put together about the book:
My thoughts: This is the first book that I've read by David Nicholls. I was fortunate to get an advanced copy of this book at BEA this past spring and then when I saw that TLC Book Tours was doing a blog tour for the book, I jumped at the opportunity to be part of it.
I really enjoyed this book. I found myself identifying with both Douglas and Connie at different times throughout the book. Marriage is not easy - even a good marriage, which I like to think I have, and I found myself reflecting on my own marriage and the courting period my husband and I had as Douglas reflected on his early days with Connie. How I could appreciate those long dinners and the constant holding of hands! And how quickly once the newness of the couple wears off, so, too, do all those charming small gestures.
I could feel Douglas's love for Connie dripping off the pages. He desperately wanted to save his marriage and win her back, and thinks the vacation will help him out, but he tries so hard that he only ends up making things worse time and time again. Adding his already tenuous relationship with son Albie to the mix doesn't help. But, having Douglas as the narrator really helps you understand him and even sympathize with him in a way that had he just been a regular character would have had him seen as completely off-putting. He just wants to be seen as a hero to both his wife and son and yet is often seen as anything but by the two of them.
I was also entranced with the writing in this book. I felt that many times I was right there with Douglas and Connie as they traveled across Europe. The descriptions of the villages and the museums and artwork were so vivid. Even the passages where they were on-board the trains - I felt as if I was traveling with them.
This is a funny, heartwarming and even heartbreaking look at love, marriage and even family. I was captivated with the writing and will definitely be going back and reading more of David Nicholls' work.
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 include Starter 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.
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To see who else is participating in David Nicholl's Us tour, click here.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS - (US only)I ended up with two copies of this amazing book which means that you, my readers, benefit! I am giving away one copy of Us. The only catch is that the giveaway book is an advanced reading copy (an ARC).
- Leave a comment below & be sure to include your email address.
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- I will contact winner at the conclusion of the giveaway & they will have 2 days to respond or I will pick a new winner.