Us (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


This book begins at the middle.  It opens with a wife telling her husband of
25 years that when their son goes to college in the fall, their marriage is
over.  Us proceeds to unfold both forwards and backwards as the narrator,
Doug, tells the story of the final months of his marriage on a pilgrimage
through Europe, and the first few months of his and his wife’s relationship.

With laugh out loud wit and relatable self-deprecation,
Nichols, through Doug’s voice, has created a wonderful tale on par with This is Where I Leave You and Em and the Big Hoom.  A smaller family and a different continent, Us deals with many of the same themes of
family drama and the distinction between growing old and growing up—and the
fact that the two might not go hand in hand.

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— Erin

This book begins at the middle.  It opens with a wife telling her husband of
25 years that when their son goes to college in the fall, their marriage is
over.  Us proceeds to unfold both forwards and backwards as the narrator,
Doug, tells the story of the final months of his marriage on a pilgrimage
through Europe, and the first few months of his and his wife’s relationship.

With laugh out loud wit and relatable self-deprecation,
Nichols, through Doug’s voice, has created a wonderful tale on par with This is Where I Leave You and Em and the Big Hoom.  A smaller family and a different continent, Us deals with many of the same themes of
family drama and the distinction between growing old and growing up—and the
fact that the two might not go hand in hand.

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— Erin

Douglas Petersen’s life is
upturned when his wife Connie wakes him in the middle of the night and says, “I
think our marriage has run its course. I think I want to leave you.” Even so,
Connie thinks they should still go on the already-planned Grand Tour, a trip
through numerous European cities with their soon-to-leave-home seventeen-year-old
son, Albie.

As the Grand Tour unfolds, Douglas
intermittently recounts to us his and Connie’s past. Their first meeting, their
first argument, all that led to, and followed, the “I do”.

No words can express how much I
enjoyed this book that I read until the sun rose and that stuck with me long
after turning the last page. Moving, engrossing, funny, sad, affecting. I loved
it.

To see more of my staff picks, click here!

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— Casey

Description


Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

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 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?

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062365583
ISBN-10: 0062365584
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: October 28th, 2014
Pages: 396
Language: English