After a sort of a dry spell that lasted for a couple of months, I started reading again and this book was the one that broke the ice. Whenever I take a break from reading, which usually happens through no choice of my own, I find it difficult to get back in full swing and read any book that I stumble upon with a discerning eye. After a break, I really need something to hook me up from the first pages, and “Us” by David Nicholls certainly delivered.
As someone who enjoyed One Day, I actually expected this book to be a lesser experience, because that’s what sometimes happens with lots of authors after they reach success. Fortunately, “Us” was nothing like “One Day”, which makes me think Nicolls is indeed very good at getting over a certain style of writing and try something new, successfully I would say.
“Us” is a story of a family, but the character that stands out is not the narrator, Douglas, nor his hippie wife Connie. The main character of the books, is, surprisingly, European art. I have ever read a novel that managed to transport me to the hot cultural spots of Europe like “Us” did. The story itself is very good, I must admit, but had it not been for the setting, it might have been a little dull, in the manner of “yet another divorce story.”
Another thing that I enjoyed was the development of the main character, Douglas Petersen, who starts out as a somewhat obnoxious individual, but by the end of the book you actually get to know and care for him. Connie is a well-developed character as well, but antagonistically, as I liked her very much in the first quarter of the book only to find her annoying by the end. All in all, it was a very pleasant read and as Nicholls raised the bar even higher, I am certainly going to start any future books of his with high expectations.