52 in ’15: Us

This is part of my 2015 reading challenge. You can find an explanation of the challenge here, with a list of all the types of books I plan to read this year. Here’s what I’ve read so far. This book is a book with a one-word title.
Us by David Nicholls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have a confession to make about David Nicholls’ most popular book, One Day.

I never finished it.

I tried. Lord knows how I tried. But it just went on and on forever. When I heard a movie was coming out, I gave up and watched that instead to see how it all ended.

So I was trepidatious about picking up his latest book, Us. Well, I’m glad I did.

There were still spots that this book seemed to meander on, but it was a refreshing surprise. The narrator is Douglas Peterson, a scientist who’s wife of more than 20 years tells him she’s thinking of leaving him after son goes off to college in the fall. The book takes place during the family’s European summer trip before their son leaves, where his wife, Connie, is unhappy and his son, Albie, just wants to break free.

Douglas flashes back to his whole relationship with his wife: When they met, were dating early, their marriage, the loss of their daughter and Albie’s childhood and teenage years.

Douglas reflects with each flashback, wondering if it was something he did that caused the riff between he and his wife.

And while the Us in the title is likely referring to Douglas and Connie, it might just also be talking about Douglas and Albie’s relationship, as the second part of the book is more about that.

I’m not saying anymore for fear of giving it all away, but this is definitely worth your time.

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