Us by David Nicholls

This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review by Hodder & Stoughton.

Us by David Nicholls was longlisted for the Man Book Prize 2014 and although usually I don’t pay any attention to literary awards, that really piqued my interest and I’m so grateful that the publisher sent me this signed review copy.

“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?”

Going into this novel, I hadn’t heard anything about it but having read One Day earlier in the year, I had high hopes and I’m happy to say, I definitely was not disappointed.

David Nicholls has a way of portraying characters in such a realistic light, making them into real people that you can go from loving to hating but ultimately care about. Throughout this novel, my emotions were sent on a rollercoaster ride; I wasn’t bawling my eyes out but there some moments where Connie and Douglas’ story was upsetting, but then there were moments of extreme happiness.

I don’t really want to give anything away about the plot because I think it is something you need to discover for yourself. I would say that if you have any interest in art or travel, you should definitely pick this up. The Grand Tour that this family partakes in is inspiring and eye-opening to a lot of different cultures and as someone who loves art galleries, this book really made me want to travel more of Europe and experience more.

The writing style that Nicholls uses in this novel is very conversational and easy to read as Douglas looks back on the experience of the Grand Tour as well as his past relationship with Connie. It is written with such insight into the character that I really felt for Douglas’ character and Nicholl’s did an amazing job of making the conflicts seem real, not melodramatic.

Overall, I would thoroughly recommend this book. It’s exactly what I needed for my current reading mood (which is I have so many books I have to read for university that I haven’t really been reading at all) and I am so happy that I got an opportunity to read it. It may not have been shortlisted for the Man Booker but personally, I would recommend it to anyone wanting a cultured contemporary read, whether you usually read Adult or Young Adult fiction, I think every reader will take something different away from this wonderful book.

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3 comments

  1. I’ve only read One day by Nicholls before, need to read his other works. And after your review, I think Us should move closer on my wishlist. I own Starter for Ten, though, and this one will be my next Nicholls’ book.

    P.S. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you wrote “David Mitchell” in title.. I missed that at first, but then saw it. Maybe you should change that, so readers could find your review easier.:)

    • I’ve just changed it! Thanks for letting me know =) I think it might be because I read Cloud Atlas quite recently xD

      I have Starter for Ten in ebook form (it was free on Kindle for some reason) and I’m looking forward to that but I only saw the film quite recently before knowing it was a book so I’m going to leave it a while I think before I read that one. I would definitely recommend Us though…it’s probably going to make my Top 14 of 2014 =D

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