From David Nicholls, author of the mega-bestselling fiction sensation One Day, comes a highly anticipated new novel that follows one man’s efforts to salvage his marriage—and repair his troubled relationship with his teenaged son—during the course of a trip around Europe
Renowned author David Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his beloved 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 apart.
Douglas Petersen may be a mild-mannered scientist, but his reserved appearance hides a sense of humour that, against all odds, seduces beautiful art-school graduate Connie into a second date . . . and into marrying him. Now, nearly three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Douglas is still deeply in love with his wife, and is looking toward Albie leaving for college so that he can reconnect with Connie, and somehow reignite the spark that seems to be missing. That is, until Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce.
Connie’s timing couldn’t be worse. Wanting to encourage her son’s artistic interests, she’s planned a month-long tour across Europe, where they’ll experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family, and she can’t bring herself to cancel the voyage. But perhaps going ahead is for the best? Douglas feels sure that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance they’ve lost along the way, as well as help him to bond with Albie. He prepares with a meticulously detailed itinerary, but they barely make it to Amsterdam before his plans go awry.
Narrated from Douglas’s endearingly honest, stealthily witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man rising to the challenge of rescuing his relationship with the woman he loves—as he embarks on a life-changing journey on the heels of a son who’s always felt like a stranger. It is an authentic meditation on the demands of marriage and parenthood, the regrets of abandoning youth for middle age, and the complicated relationship between the heart and the head. And in David Nicholls’s gifted hands, Douglas’s odyssey brings Europe—from the famed museums of Paris to the cafes 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 and involved father, or the moment when he turns his marriage—his whole life—around?