November 17, 2014 Fiction, Review 20

UsTitle: Us
Author: David Nicholls
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: I loved this book which completely swept me up in the main character’s emotions and left me with a delightfully hopeful feeling.

“Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home. He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together. So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, 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?” (Source)

I haven’t fallen this in love with a work of fiction in a long time. The main character was particularly lovable. He’s sweet and smart, but shy and socially awkward. He’s also really funny and (bonus!) he’s a biochemist. I realize this might not appeal to every reader, but as a scientist myself, I enjoyed that a lot. The author had clearly done his research about biochemists. The main character describes what he does in a very believable way and spends a lot of time thinking about science in relation to his life.

Even more important than the details of the character was the way the author brought his emotions to life. The emotional scenes weren’t sappy. They weren’t big or demonstrative or flashy. The language wasn’t flowery or sentimental. Somehow, without any of that, the author just slowly, softly built up the main character’s everyday emotions until I ached for his heartaches and celebrated his happinesses. The ending was perfect for this beautiful, believable story. Although it was bit predictable, it wasn’t too neatly wrapped up but it did leave me with a hopeful feeling that made me happy. This book was blurbed by Jojo Moyes and I’d definitely recommend it to her fans, as well as anyone who just wants a book that will leave them smiling.

For some other perspectives, check out the other stops on the tour.

20 Responses to “Us”

    • DoingDewey

      I couldn’t believe how much I ended up caring about this older man whose life is nothing like my own. It helped, I think, that I’m also shy and a scientist, but I think it was mostly the author’s fantastic writing. I’m glad you enjoyed this one too 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      I loved this one and really want to get to reading One Day too. The fact that everything didn’t miraculously work out was a big part of why I liked it 🙂

  1. Naomi

    I have been thinking that this book looked good, and I loved his last book. Your glowing review makes me want to put it on hold right away! I studied biology once upon a time, so the biochemist thing is a bonus for me, too!

    • DoingDewey

      Oh, you should! And I should get to his first book, because I really loved this one. I thought it was wonderful to see a non-scientist author do such a great job representing science in their story. I was very impressed!

    • DoingDewey

      I was really surprised by how much I could related to Douglas even though I’m neither married nor a parent. I did have other things in common with him though, including his shyness and love of science, so that probably helped. His sense of humor was definitely one of my favorites parts. I loved the ending too 🙂

  2. Charlie

    I didn’t love One Day, but I think I’ll be giving this a go based on what you said. I can’t say I know much about biochemistry but if you say he did his research that’s a plus.

    • DoingDewey

      I don’t think One Day sounds especially like my kind of book. I might be willing to give it a try because I loved this one so much, but I do think it’s possible that you might like this one better than his previous book. I hope you do 🙂

      I was actually really surprised that the author didn’t have a degree in biochemistry or at least in science of some kind. I thought he did a fantastic job portraying what the job is like.