- Book review: us
Us is a novel about marriage and it was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year. Douglas Petersen, the protagonist, recognizes his wife's desires to go through a journey of redemption, but believed that this journey wasn't going to be solitary for her because she is teetering on the edge of a divorce. Their son has left home for art school, and now his wife is leaving too, so Douglas takes the decision to turn their last ever family holiday into a memorable one. He hopes that the holiday will make them a much more close knit family and also win his son's respect and his wife's love, back once more. He wants his family to visit the grande monuments in Europe, take in the culture at the local museums, and he has planned the itinerary for the trip, laboriously. This is a story about a couple, where one is as different from the other, as they could possibly be.
It is a magnetic cause of how opposites often attract, but vehemently oppose at the same time. Douglas is as British as they ever come and a serious biochemist, by profession. Connie, his wife, is an adventurous young painter and recreational drug abuser. Despite her troubled life, and incorrect choices, she gets married and has a baby, but the two really should not be a couple. His son, Albie is a rebellious teenager interested in photography and he detests the idea of the trip, openly, throughout the trip. Douglas and Connie had several things going wrong in their relationship for a long time: Albie, had a younger brother, who died in infancy, and Douglas often speculates if that is the reason that Connie is quite interested in a divorce now. The novel is starkly different from the author's last novel One Day - that was a romantic book, this seems to be a drama, thorough to its core. David Nicholls writes intelligently, making the different characters and the cities Douglas tours with his family, come alive.