Advance Reader Copy, 392 pages
October 28th 2014
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Sometimes love isn’t enough. This is what the protagonist and narrator of Us comes to learn when his wife suddenly wakes him to tell him she (thinks) she wants to leave him. And subsequently this is the catalyst for the journey that Douglas undergoes in this book, as he, his wife, Connie and their son, Albie embark on one last family vacation together before Albie leaves for college.
To be honest Us was not at all the book that I thought it would be. I went in expecting a fluffier and lighter story of a man trying to win back his wife in a romantic comedy sort of style and instead what I got was an intelligent, thought provoking novel on the subject of relationships and family. However, I am definitely not complaining since this book made me truly ponder the story I was reading and I loved that. Douglas Petersen, in my opinion is not an easy person to love. In fact in the beginning I was a bit frustrated with reference to his insufferable attitude towards things and how utterly clueless he was as his recalls his past and the history of his relationship with Connie. Nevertheless as the book progressed, he slowly started to grow on me as I noticed that he was just awkward and he truly cared about his family and as such was always trying to do what he thought was best for them. After all who here doesn’t have regrets similar to his regarding certain things we’ve said that sounded better inside our heads except when it came out it sounded extremely wrong?
Without spoiling too much, what I loved was the second half of the book since it is all about making amends and communicating and connecting with your loved ones. I love the confrontation between Douglas and Albie, and I enjoyed seeing how the entire experience brought them closer as Douglas learned to not be so rigid. On the other hand, I didn’t enjoy the relationship between Douglas and Connie as much. I found it unfathomable how the two being such different people where able to come together, get married and have a family together as there were numerous problems in their relationship from the beginning to the present. Still, in spite of it all it is obvious that they truly care about each other, and maybe that’s what makes this story feel so true to life. In reality, not all families and marriages are perfect matches instead they are complicated and messy. And every now and then even with a mass amount of work, things don’t exactly work out the way you expected. That’s why though I did not enjoy Us as much as David Nicholl’s previous book, One Day I still adore it. Us was a wonderful combination of heartbreaking and uplifting which makes for a warm though bittersweet read, just the thing for this autumn season.
If you like this book, you’ll love: The Sun and Other Stars by Brigid Pasulka
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.