Cover image for Us
Title:
Us
Author:
Nicholls, David, 1966-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2014]
Physical Description:
396 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"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 apart. 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 cafe's 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?"--

"The highly anticipated new novel from David Nicholls, author of the mega-bestselling fiction sensation One Day, which 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"--
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780062365583

9780062365590
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

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 apart.

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 caf#65533;s 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?


Author Notes

David Nicholls was born in 1966 in Eastleigh, Hampshire, United Kingdom. He studied English literature and drama at the University of Bristol. When he graduated he won a scholarship to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. He appeared in plays at the Battersea Arts Centre, the Finborough, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, and had a three year stint at the Royal National Theatre, understudying and playing small parts.

During this period he took a job at BBC Radio Drama as a script reader/researcher and he developed an adaptation of Sam Shepard's stage-play Simpatico with the director Matthew Warchus. He also wrote his first original script, Waiting, which was later optioned by the BBC.

Simpatico was turned into a feature film in 1999 which allowed him to start writing full-time. I Saw You won best single play at the annual BANFF television festival. He has been twice nominated for BAFTA awards.

His first novel, Starter for 10, was featured on the first Richard and Judy Book Club. His other novels include The Understudy, One Day, which won the Galaxy Book Award, and Us.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Nicholls brings his trademark wit and wisdom to this by turns hilarious and heartbreaking examination of a long-term marriage. Biochemist Douglas Petersen is about to embark on a grand tour of Europe with his artistic wife of 25 years, Connie, and his temperamental 17-year-old son, Albie, who is about to leave for college. But on the eve of their departure, his wife tells him that, after the trip, she wants a divorce. A shocked Douglas hatches a scheme to win back his wife and repair his fractious relationship with his son. Traveling from the museums of Paris and Amsterdam to the beaches of Spain, the Petersen family struggle to regain their equilibrium, but Douglas' determination to have fun, complete with an ironclad itinerary, leads to spectacular fights, hurt feelings, and simmering tensions, all of which are conveyed by Nicholls with both humor and a deep compassion for human frailty. As Douglas looks back in longing on the couple's first heady days of love and courtship, he struggles to maintain his touching optimism for the future of their marriage. This tender novel will further cement Nicholls' reputation as a master of romantic comedy. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Nicholls' 2010 novel, One Day, has sold more than two million copies in 37 languages, and his latest will receive BEA and book-club promotion as well as a 500,000-copy first printing.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In Nicholls's (One Day) latest novel, Connie Peterson wakes her husband Douglas in the middle of the night to tell him she may want to end their marriage. The family already has a European trip planned, the last before their son, Albie, leaves their London suburb for college, and Douglas, ever the scientist, hatches a plan to change Connie's mind: he will ensure their trip becomes an exemplar of the happy family they can be. Working against Douglas is the fact that he and his son have suffered a strained relationship from birth, and that Connie, an artist at heart, believes an organic vacation-one that evolves from the whims of any given day-would be a great improvement over Douglas's strict, pedantic itineraries. Douglas is an amiably bumbling narrator, and Nicholls convincingly infuses his protagonist's voice with the dry wit and charm that have served the author so well in his previous books. This is Nicholls's most ambitious work to date, and his realistically flawed characters are somehow endearing despite the many bruises they inflict upon each other. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Douglas Petersen is a biochemist. His wife, Connie, an artist (though nonpracticing) and arts administrator, in bed at 4 a.m., tells him that after 24 years of marriage she is thinking of leaving him. The often maddeningly practical, reliable, and methodical Douglas is, understandably, shaken, as his devotion to Connie is beyond question. The family was to embark on a Grand Tour of Europe this summer; their 17-year-old son, Albie, is starting college in the fall. Connie feels they should all go anyway. Douglas, ever the scientist, hopes that through careful preparation (and lots of Wikipedia) the trip will bring structure to his son and help remind his wife of the wonderful life they share. Yet an altercation with a guest in their Amsterdam hotel sends Albie off on his own, with Douglas in hot pursuit. VERDICT Nicholls (One Day) has created in Douglas a man who has always known where he was and where he was going and who now is suddenly adrift emotionally as well as physically. And all the guidebooks and online tours won't be enough to right his course. Are you thinking this is a predictable tale of family dynamics? Think again; this is Nicholls, after all. For those who loved One Day, the author's latest is another heart-grabber about discovering what makes us happy and learning to let go. [See Prepub Alert, 5/12/14; see also "Editors' Fall Picks," LJ 9/1/14, p. 28.]-Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.