A Novel

Book - 2014
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"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 cafe's 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?"--Publisher.
Publisher: New York : Harper, c2014.
ISBN: 9781443438070
Characteristics: 396 p. ; 24 cm.


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May 13, 2017

I found this dull and couldn't get very far. The main character was not sympathetic to me.

Megan_PNW May 01, 2017

Read it if you want: A modern family story, A likable but flawed character, a relationship seen from the end and the beginning interchangeably, complex relationships, and humor and gravity in the same book.

Feb 09, 2017

Nicholls is a fantastic writer. This book was so good. Douglas was such a great character, so realistic with his thoughts, feelings, reactions.

Nov 09, 2016

Truly enjoyed this read! It was one that I kept wanting to get back to - and didn't want to put down at bedtime.

Has all the highs and lows of life's rollercoaster ride, along with some great character portrayals.

Good book!

Feb 18, 2016

A quick read, surprising (to me) that it was nominated for a Man Booker, but I didn't dislike it. More "chick lit" than other contemporary novels I've read, which isn't to say it isn't worth it. Nice characters, fine plot,

ladydebv Dec 08, 2015

Funny, sad, emotional, poignant... This author tells such a wonderful and touching story. Accurately portrays the relationship of a husband/wife as they begin to wonder whether or not they should still be together after many years. He is brilliant at his characterization of 2 spouses who are each such unique and strong individuals and at his characterization of the
son stuck in the middle. This is well worth the read! I loved it!

Nov 16, 2015

Not a bad book. The characters were well rounded and I thought the book/plot was well written. If you're looking for a book to take with you on a plane or something, then give US a read. If you're looking for a book to dive in to and really get immersed in, then Us might not be for you.

Sep 19, 2015

Portrait of a marriage. The first part is irritating, then the story gets better with the travel scenes. Some parts parts, like the loss of the first child, are touching.

May 11, 2015

This novel would flip flop for me: often fun and then dull; sometimes eye-rollingly histrionic, sometimes pleasantly rom-com-ish. Even though it has some of the effervescent qualities that made David Nicholls’s earlier book, One Day such a compulsive, enjoyable read (e.g., the zingers in the dialogue; startling deep insight about the failings of love and friendship; the right balance of humor and tragedy), it just never really popped or surprised. Us was disappointingly predictable, replete with all the familiar beats of what you might expect of a marriage doomed and the ‘deserted’ spouse trying to make sense of it all and seeking some sort of redemption. You can almost tick off the five stages of loss here; Douglas goes through the various shades of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. Us is a well-crafted, fun read but had none of the magic and charm I came to expect from the author of One Day.

Mar 02, 2015

An excellent book. Portraying the ins and outs of marriage, the author alternates chapters - some in current time, some in the past - and illustrates so well the challenges of maintaining a long relationship. It's a truly funny book, and made me laugh aloud many times. I loved the voice of the narrator, Douglas, although I did kind of wonder at his extreme allegiance towards Connie, the wife. She seemed awfully self-absorbed and more than a little selfish to me, but whatever. The son, Albie, is very well-drawn (reminds me of certain older teens I've known) and altogether I found this a hard book to lay down.

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Apr 14, 2017

“The fact was I loved my wife to a degree that I found impossible to express, and so rarely did.”

Apr 14, 2017

“It’s the face itself that I love, not that face at twenty-eight or thirty-four or forty-three. It’s that face.”

Apr 14, 2017

“Emotional intelligence, the perfect oxymoron!”

Apr 14, 2017

“I'm aware that couples tend to embellish 'how we met' folklore with all kinds of detail and significance. We shape and sentimentalise these first encounters into creation myths to reassure ourselves and our offspring that it was somehow 'meant to be'.”

Apr 14, 2017

“I love you is an interesting phrase, in that apparently small alterations–taking away the I, adding a word like lots or loads–render it meaningless.”

Apr 14, 2017

“The problem with telling people that they can do anything they want to do is that it is objectively, factually inaccurate. Otherwise the whole world would just be ballet dancers and pop stars.”

Apr 14, 2017

“Perhaps grief is as much regret for what we have never had as sorrow for what we have lost.”

Apr 14, 2017

“Of course, after nearly a quarter of a century, the questions about our distant pasts have all been posed and we’re left with ‘how was your day?’ and ‘when will you be home?’ and ‘have you put the bins out?’ Our biographies involve each other so intrinsically now that we’re both on nearly every page. We know the answers because we were there, and so curiosity becomes hard to maintain; replaced, I suppose, by nostalgia.”

Apr 14, 2017

“Was it the happiest day of our lives? Probably not, if only because the truly happy days tend not to involve so much organisation, are rarely so public or so expensive. The happy ones sneak up, unexpected.”

Apr 14, 2017

“I had always been led to believe that aging was a slow and gradual process, the creep of a glacier. Now I realize that it happens in a rush, like snow falling off a roof.”

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