Genre: General Fiction
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.
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 bond with Albie.
Well, that was an interesting read. I would have finished this sooner if Eid didn’t get in the way haha.
Anyway, the story starts out ok and I actually sympathised with Douglas whose wife is leaving him and his son is becoming more and more estranged from him. Nicholls is a brilliant author, can’t deny that. However, there’s something melancholic in his style of writing that makes me easily distracted. It can be a bit draggy, and the story shifting from past to present can be a factor to it as well.
I remember thinking his whole plight in saving his family and marriage is so relatable because there are just so many people like him. We always, always take for granted the comfortable life we’re given, we may not realise our attitude actually displeases our loved ones. As the story progresses, Nicholls shows you that Douglas isn’t as innocent as you once thought in the beginning, leading to a sense of disapproval for him and the way he treats his son as he is growing up. One very important moral of the story: Never ever think your children should grow up to be exactly like you. I find Douglas delusional, self-centered, but honest and sincere at his best.
Towards, the end of the story, the closure gained is very beautiful. I love realistic endings, despite it not being a happy one. But sometimes that is life, where you don’t get what you desire, you stop being delusional and move on in life.
Overall, it is such a good book, I just dislike it’s slow-ness. But I definitely preferred this one to One Day and I would recommend this if you’re looking for the ultimate story of saving your family and what it means to forgive yourself for your past.