The Resource Us, David Nicholls

Us, David Nicholls

Label
Us
Title
Us
Statement of responsibility
David Nicholls
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"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."--
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2014.
  • Library Journal Best Books 2014
  • LibraryReads Favorites, 2014
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 (Reviewed 09-15-2014) (Booklist, vol 111, number 2, p29)
  • /*LibraryReads Favorite*/ Every once in a while you stumble upon a book that makes you wish you could meet the characters in real life. This is the case with Us, the poignant story of a middle-of-the-road British family spiraling out of control, and one man's attempt to win back their love. Quirky, delightful and unpredictable, the novel delves into what makes a marriage, and what tears it apart. -- Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX. (LibraryReads, November 2014)
  • /* Starred 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.) --Staff (Reviewed October 6, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 40, p)
  • /* 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 --Bette-Lee Fox (Reviewed September 15, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 15, p69)
  • /* Starred Review */ In his picaresque fourth novel, Nicholls (One Day, 2010, etc.) artfully unveils 25 years of a couple's relationship. Shortly before Douglas Petersen, his wife, Connie, and their 17-year-old son, Albie, are to take a "Grand Tour" of Europe, Connie makes a surprising announcement: She thinks their marriage "has run its course" and is thinking about leaving. Connie is panicked at the thought of Albie going to college at the end of summer, leaving her and Douglas alone in the house. Douglas, a straight-laced biochemist who "had skipped youth and leapt into middle age," came along at a time when Connie, artistic and free-spirited but directionless, needed someone sensible. Despite the announcement, Connie still wants to take this holiday together, and as their journey begins, so does Douglas' examination of his marriage. Part travelogue, part personal history, Douglas' first-person narration intersperses humorous observations of their travels, during which Douglas usually finds himself out of step with his art-loving wife and son, with his wistful recounting of their back story, from his unlikely courtship to his recent positioning as a misfit in his family of three. After a ruinous morning in Amsterdam, when Albie unwisely confronts a trio of arms dealers and Douglas intervenes in a way that infuriates his family, Albie runs away, and the "Grand Tour," deemed a failure, comes to an end. Yet before it's too late, Douglas seizes a chance to find his son, win back the affections of his wife, and make this journey, both literal and figurative, a heroic one after all. Nicholls is a master of the braided narrative, weaving the past and present to create an intricate whole, one that is at times deceptively light and unexpectedly devastating. Though the narration is self-conscious at first, it gradually settles into a voice that is wistful, wry, bewildered and incisive, drawing a portrait of a man who has been out of his league for a long time. Evocative of its European locales—London, Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Madrid—and awkward family vacations everywhere, this is a funny and moving novel perfect for a long journey.(Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2014)
Assigning source
Publisher marketing
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10356423
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1966-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Nicholls, David
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Middle-aged men
  • Husband and wife
  • Fathers and sons
  • Life change events
  • England
Target audience
general
Label
Us, David Nicholls
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
396 pages
Isbn
9780062365590
Isbn Type
(paperback)
Lccn
2014015360
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
  • (OCoLC)878109391
  • 2911521
  • (DLC)ppl00085602
Label
Us, David Nicholls
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
396 pages
Isbn
9780062365590
Isbn Type
(paperback)
Lccn
2014015360
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
  • (OCoLC)878109391
  • 2911521
  • (DLC)ppl00085602

Library Locations

  • Delaware Main LibraryBorrow it
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  • Powell BranchBorrow it
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    40.149379 -83.073659
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