US: A Novel ~David Nicholls
“I had always been led to believe that getting older was a slow and gradual process, the creep of a glacier. Now I realize that it happens in a rush, like snow falling off a roof.” (I am advised not to use a quote from this copy because it is not a final copy – I did anyway- there were so many good quotes it was difficult to pick one.)
US is all about what a man is thinking; not just any man but a proper English Gentlemen who is very smart and has worked as a chemical engineer for a very long time. US is also a love story of Douglas and Connie’s 24 years marriage and just what Douglas is contemplating about how he arrived at who he is presently and who he is becoming. Douglas is contemplating so much about his love and life that he knocks down a row of “bikers” bikes, books a room in a boutique bordello for his family, and swims with stinging jellyfish. There is that delightful British humor which just delights this reader and Douglas’s vast ability for a good pun.
Connie is an artist and painter and works at an art Museum in London. When Douglas and Connie were married Connie stopped painting. Together they lost baby Jane a few hours after giving birth and shared life for seventeen years with son Albie who is about to move on to University. The family is making a Grand Tour of Art to give Albie an adventure and knowledge about the great works in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Connie several days before the Great Tour sits up in bed and says, “I think our marriage has run its course. Douglas, I think I want to leave you.” Douglas and Connie decide to think about this course of action after the tour. Douglas wants to strengthen their bonds of love with his wife and son on the tour. Change is very difficult for Douglas and he has the same hopes and dreams he has been protecting and holding on to for twenty four years. US is a wonderful read and I am sure I am going to read this book again.
TLC Book Tours sent me a copy of this book to review through a new e-book source for me – Edelweiss. It is an unproofed, uncorrected copy of the book, which will disappear off my Kindle before this review is posted on PW. I was so pleased to read this book, loved the humor and the story and thinking happening, and even the trip and discussions of paintings that I am going to purchase this book so I can read it again in the future. I was so reassured that an engineer could figure out his emotions, talk outside the rules, love, and could change, I found laugh out loud hope in this story. I believe many of PW’s readers will enjoy this book and this story about change and love.
My best recommendation about this book if you are middle age and thinking about the future – Read US
David Nicholls in the Guardian, “I didn’t want to write a dodgy disappointment”
From Nicholls thought about ONE DAY:
“I worry sometimes that I’m a bit moralistic; always writing about men who are learning to grow up, not be so self-absorbed, selfish or badly behaved. I wonder if that’s dull and liberal and wimpy? I should probably write something that celebrates wickedness. Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/david_nicholls.html#BLKTLPofKmGZqHZv.99“
Tags: Amsterdam, art, communication, crisis, David Nicholls, Engineers, European Tour, family, fiction, France, humor, Italy, life change, London, love, marriage, middle age, rules, self-centeredness, Spain, UK, US