Blogger Book Club #4: Us


"Douglas Petersen understands his wife's need to 'rediscover herself' now that their son is leaving home.
 He just thought they'd be rediscovering together.

So when Connie announces that she will be leaving too, he resolves to make their last family holiday together the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer together, and win the respect of his son.  One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.

The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.

What could possibly go wrong?"

Before | I've seen this book around and heard a bit of a buzz when it was released.  I've enjoyed Nicholls' work in the past, but despite the multiple occasions that the cover's caught my eye,  something about this has always stopped me buying it.  Book club is the perfect opportunity to give it a go!
During | Us is really easy to get into the flow of, and it's a fairly fast-paced read.  It offsets the present day 'Grand Tour' holiday against interspersions of the history of Douglas and Connie's relationship.  Told through Douglas' eyes, Connie is a bohemian whirlwind who he clearly adores.  Douglas is a bumbling middle-aged man who often says the wrong thing, yet remains endearing and likeable to me.  The family holiday takes place in Europe and, as you'd expect, things soon go awry.  An 'Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry'-type escapade ensues, and despite this being amusing I felt like I knew what the outcome would be and wasn't really invested in the story. 

After | A couple of train journeys helped me to complete this book within 2 days.  It's not as good as I anticipated it to be: Nicholls' writing is humorous and charming, but it lacks the magic (and shock-factor) of One Day.  There's a lot of focus on landmarks and galleries, so I found myself skipping paragraphs which, although set the scene beautifully, I felt didn't really add anything to Douglas and Connie's story.  Overall it was heartwarming to watch Douglas' journey, but I found the thought of Connie not being happy anymore a really sad one.  I finished this book with a mixture of emotions and I'm not quite sure what my final thoughts are!

Next month we're reading The Good Girl by Fiona Neill - feel free to read along!

// Don't forget to head over to Lizzie, Leanne and Charli's blogs to read their reviews too //

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