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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

David Nicholls – Us

Review written by Babs Simpson and reviewed live on the bookshowApril 2015

This author had a huge world-wide success with One Day which wasn’t to my liking – couldn’t warm to the characters although I loved the film – but I decided to give this one a go anyway and I am glad I did.  It is a brilliant book.
Douglas Peterson is a scientist.  He has a good job, a beautiful wife, a teenage son who is about to leave home for college, a lovely home in the country and his life is all he could hope for.  Until one night.  His wife connie, tells him she thinks their marriage is over and they should separate.  This comes as a huge shock to Douglas who has no idea that she feels this way of why she should.
He begins to think back and we l;earn of the night they met at a dinner party, how gradually (on her side but immediately on his) they fell in love, then married, had children and eventually reached the stage at which we join them.
We find that Albie, their son, has always been closer to connie and is artistic like her which is rather a disappointment to his scientist father.  A big holiday was planned long befor econnie made her announcement – a grand tour of the art galleries and museums of Europe – and, as it is al organised, they decide to go anyway, Douglas hoping that it will bring his wife back to him and enable him to achieve a closeness with his son.
But of course it is a disaster, things going from bad to worse to absolutely terrible until the end of the book which reaches a believable and unpredictable climax.
I really enjoyed this book.  A brilliant study of marriage with fascinating characters who are wonderfully recognisable.  DN is a great author who really deserves all the plaudits heaped upon him.

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