Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Us - David Nicholls Book Review

I hate to say it but I've been slacking with reading recently. I started a book which I completely didn't fall in love with and so TV series' and movies took priority and I eventually admitted defeat and gave up on it. With under 8 weeks of the year left and another 7 books to read in order for me to achieve my reading challenge, the pressure is on!

I picked "Us" up in my local Waterstones simply because it was in the chart and it also happens to be a nominee for the Booker Prize. I like novels just about life, relationships and normal, every day people that make you think. The message behind this kind of books tends to be life advice that can be applied to most peoples' experiences of the world. The blurb of this book struck me as being one of those and I found it particularly interesting as it seemed aimed at a female audience but was written by a man and narrated from the view point of male character.

The plot begins with Douglas Petersen, a bioscientist gets awoken in the middle of the night by his art-loving wife, Connie, who tells him that after a long, and for the most part, happy marriage, she thinks it may be over and that she maybe wants to leave him. Albie, their son, is heading off to university after summer and the Petersen's decide to have their last family holiday together - the trip of a lifetime around Europe. Douglas who was quite excited about the new chapter that lay ahead for the couple with just the two them at home but will now be spending the trip trying to win back the love of Connie and attempt to stablise the fragile and turbulent relationship he has with his son.

If you have an interest in travelling and Europe, this novel is great as it talks about genuine destinations and attractions as the reader follows the Petersens on their journey. I'm a big fan of the way in which it's written, with excerpts relaying their trip as it happens, ajacent to chapters telling the tale of how Connie and Douglas met, through the early days of their relationship up until present day. As the reader, I felt completely involved with the characters. There were parts that made me grin and an occasion where my heart physically ached. I found "Us" really relatable. It left a big impression on me and forced me to think about relationships, appreciation and complacence. Here is a book I recommend and won't be forgetting in a hurry.

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