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
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 cafés 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?