Book Review: Us by David Nicholls

usTitle: Us
Author: David Nicholls
Genre: Contemporary fiction, British fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from the publisher
Number of pages: 416
First line: 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.

Goodreads blurb: ‘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?

So, once again, I have waited too long to write a review, and am stuck trying to remember all the insightful, witty things I wanted to say. I’m sorry, but I think I’ll have to stick with a bullet-points review.

~ I loved Douglas, the narrator. He is curmudgeonly and practical and sometimes oblivious, but he is a man I can relate to. His parental thoughts in particular made me smile, nod in empathy, or laugh out loud.

~ I didn’t love Connie, but that’s okay. Because the book is told from Douglas’s point of view, and in his voice, I didn’t have to relate to her.

~ I am left wondering what it says about me that I relate to the practical, curmudgeonly, non-adventurous Douglas, and find the free-spirit, artistic, and go-with-the-flow Connie to be annoying. Hmmmm….

~ This book is flat out hysterical. There were bits that had me giggling out loud so much that anyone in the room would give me strange looks.

~ The ending surprised me, but didn’t. I know that doesn’t make much sense, does it? I guess what I mean is that it is the ending I wanted, but not the ending I expected. Which means that David Nicholls is brilliant.

~ David Nicholls is rapidly becoming a favorite author; his work reminds me a lot of Nick Hornby, who I adore to the point of ridiculousness, so that’s saying something.

~ Don’t worry if you hated the ending of One Day. Read this anyway – you won’t be sorry.

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16 Responses to Book Review: Us by David Nicholls

  1. BermudaOnion(Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion
    says:

    It sounds like I need to pick this up!

  2. JoAnn @Lakeside Musing
    Twitter: lakesidemusing
    says:

    This definitely sounds like one for my wish list!

  3. Beth Hoffman says:

    Terrific review, Carrie! I have this loaded on my iPad and hope to get to it over the holidays.

  4. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads
    says:

    I have this in print and on audio … ok, ok, I’ll get to it. πŸ™‚

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Candace – I bet it will be fantastic on audio if it has a good narrator! I love first person audiobooks.

  5. Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
    Twitter: myeclecticbooks
    says:

    Not my normal kind of read but I am compelled to add this to my over long wishlist!

  6. Sheila (Book JOurney)
    Twitter: bookjourney
    says:

    I am so curious about this one! It sounds excellent. I read One Day and found it to be a bit confusing.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sheila – This one does go back and forth in time, but I didn’t find it confusing – it was easy to follow.

  7. Heather
    Twitter: BookAddictHeath
    says:

    I haven’t read anything by David Nicholls but I definitely should start. Any particular book I should start with?

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Heather – I would start with this one. One Day is also excellent, but the ending is quite polarizing. I think this is the best of the three of his that I’ve read.

  8. Susan says:

    Glad to hear you really liked this novel. I’ve been eyeing it and have it on my list. Now I really want to read it. thanks