Us: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

I absolutely loved One Day by David Nicholls, in fact it might even be in my top 10 books.  So of course I was over the moon to discover that he has a new book out titled Us.  This is a fantastic contemporary fiction novel that explores the struggles of marriage and parenting and also the joys of being a family.  Douglas thought he had it all worked out.  He married the right girl, he has a great son – albeit it is not the easiest relationship with his son – a house in the country and even the dog to go with it.  Then his wife Connie  blurts out that she wants a divorce or at least discuss the idea of getting divorced.  The timing couldn’t be worse since their big family vacation is right around the corner.  They had decided to travel Europe before Albie left for college.  Connie convinces Douglas to go on the trip anyway and to continue discussing their future plans, but Douglas knows this is his last chance to try and win the heart of his wife all over again and perhaps find a way to have a better relationship with his son Albie.


Nicholls has such a wonderful way with words.  His writing is so eloquent and beautiful that you never want the book to end.  He  has such a unique way of looking at time while he is telling the story.  In One Day he told the entire tale by describing the same day over several years.   Us  is told from Douglas’ perspective in both the present and the past.  He may start out discussing his current life and then slip back to the past making his time very fluid. I also loved the characters.  Douglas may like things to be done a specific and organized way, but he means well.  I like how determined he is, regardless of the task.  The family dynamics were messy, like most are, but you learn that the definition of family may not be what your originally planned.  Overall, a great read.

— Jody

December 2014 Indie Next List

“This gorgeous novel manages to be heart-wrenching and hilarious all at once. Connie tells Douglas that she suspects their 20-year marriage has 'run its course' right before they're set to leave on a European tour with their teenage son. Regardless, they take the trip and flashbacks of their more passionate days are interspersed with the narrative of their everything-at-stake adventure. A brilliant and humanizing picture of mature love -- and a look at whether or not people truly outgrow each other.”
— Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books, Newton, MA


“I loved this book. Funny, sad, tender: for anyone who wants to know what happens after the Happy Ever After.”  — Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You 

David Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his New York Times bestseller, One Day, to a compellingly human, deftly funny 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. It 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. 

About the Author

David Nicholls's most recent novel, the New York Times bestseller One Day, has sold more than two million copies and has been translated into thirty-seven languages; the film adaptation starred Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway. Nicholls's previous novels include Starter for Ten and The Understudy. He trained as an actor before making the switch to writing and has twice been nominated for BAFTA awards.

Praise For…

“The Petersen family travels through Europe with more emotional baggage than luggage in Nicholls’s winning follow-up to his 2009 bestseller One Day….Few authors do messed-up relationships better than Nicholls.”
People, Book of the Week

“Nicholls is a deft craftsman, a skilled storyteller and a keen observer of contemporary mores.”
— Jay McInerney, New York Times Book Review

“In his latest…Mr. Nicholls again deals with love lost and possibly found, offering an unpredictable (and less grim) ending…. Mr. Nicholls mines the setup for laughs, as he should, but he also provides a poignant story of regret in middle age.”
New York Times

“A great novel...Nicholls is a master of nuanced relationships. He’s also a pro at delivering a tight, clever structural narrative, as he proved in his terrific previous novel One Day.”
Entertainment Weekly

“I loved this book. Funny, sad, tender: for anyone who wants to know what happens after the Happy Ever After.”
— Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You and One Plus One

“Wonderful. A novel that manages to be both truly hilarious and deeply affecting. I loved it.”
— S.J. Watson, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Go to Sleep

“Nicholls is a delightfully funny writer…and this over-planned vacation makes ripe material for comedy…Us evolves into a poignant consideration of how a marriage ages, how parents mess up and what survives despite all those challenges.”
Washington Post

“A smartly optimistic romantic comedy that uses angst and humor to illuminate the resilience of the human heart… Part requiem, part reboot, Douglas’s...efforts to preserve his disintegrating family take him on another kind of journey, too, from despair to unexpected joy.”
O Magazine, November 2014

“A thoughtful, funny, authentic story…Pitch-perfect dialogue and seamless action propel the story forward in a way that feels cinematic.…This is the kind of book that reminds us what it means to be alive. How often does a reader get to feel that?”
Good Housekeeping

“But for all of their burdens and battles, Douglas and Connie have moments of real joy in their marriage and while it doesn’t always seem like a pleasure, reading about it sure is.”
Time magazine

Us is a quick read but a charming one; a portrait of two journeys—one measured in kilometers, the other in the heart.”
Seattle Times

“What happens when domestic bliss becomes rote? Is the past strong enough to bind us together when it happens? Nicholls’ answer is complicated, poignant, wise—and disarmingly human.”
Miami Herald

“It’s a great combination of laughs and heart…Just what you need on these too-short days, no?”
— Sophie Kinsella, Redbook

“David Nicholls’s latest… is a smartly optimistic romantic comedy that uses angst and humor to illuminate the resilience of the human heart…. Part requiem, part reboot, Douglas’s endearingly inept efforts to preserve his disintegrating family take him on another kind of journey, too, from despair to unexpected joy.”

“From the author of One Day—which was infinitely better than the movie—comes a pathos-laden love story about marriage on the brink of collapse.”
Entertainment Weekly, “A Dozen Books We're Dying to Read This Fall.”

“The bestselling author of One Day…is back with another crowd-pleaser, this time about a man trying to save his collapsing marriage and connect with his teenage son during a family tour of Europe.”
People, Best Books of the Fall (2014)

“Complex family drama...perfect read for the holidays!”
Huffington Post, Top 10 Books to Read This Winter

“A smartly optimistic romantic comedy that uses angst and humor to illuminate the resilience of the human heart.”
—, “Paperbacks that Dazzle”

“Nicholls is a master of the braided narrative, weaving the past and present to create an intricate whole…. A funny and moving novel.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Nicholls brings his trademark wit and wisdom to this by turns hilarious and heartbreaking examination of a long-term marriage…. This tender novel will further cement Nicholls’ reputation as a master of romantic comedy.”
Booklist (starred review)

“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.”
— Library Journal (starred review)

“Liked One Day? Then you’ll find this absolutely fabulous.… Very funny and very moving, often at the same time.”
Daily Mail (London)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062365590
ISBN-10: 0062365592
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Publication Date: June 30th, 2015
Pages: 416
Language: English