TITLE: Us by David Nicholls
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
RELEASE DATE: 30 September 2014
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
‘I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.’
‘Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?’
Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home.
He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together.
So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.
The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.
What could possibly go wrong?
Last summer, a short time before my son was due to leave home for college, my wife woke me in the middle of the night.
WHAT I THOUGHT
Us is a wonderful, sad, funny, touching novel about waking up one day and realising the life you’ve been living isn’t the one you signed up for. Us made me laugh and cry at every turn. At times the novel was so real it was painful to read. I loved the way the author explored Connie and Douglas’s marriage; what made them fall in love and the things that gradually, over the years pulled them apart. There are some painful scenes during the trip when Douglas is trying to ensure everyone is having a good time and his wife and son are quite cruel. I wanted to give him a hug. He wanted so much to make his wife love him again and the universe kept throwing rocks in his face. The most enjoyable parts of the novel are when he’s looking for his son to apologise for some things he said during an awful fight. His love for his son really shines through and his desperation to make things right is almost heart-breaking. Us didn’t end the way I expected, which would have been an obvious choice but I loved the way the author chose to leave things. I loved Us. Now I definitely want to read more by this author.