I recently took this book with me whilst on a city break to #Edinburgh. I fell in #love with Nicholls #writing after ‘One Day’ and ‘Starter for Ten’, both wonderful comic tragedies that leave you feeling wrung out emotionally, but in that good way a really fantastic novel does. ‘Us’ does not start quite as promisingly, at least not for me, but as you progress and begin to get a feel for the rhythm of the novel, it quickly presents itself as another gem. As always with Nicholls, the story is mostly about people, and the quiet, intimate interactions we have with each other; in this case, between families.
Focusing on a small family unit of three, ‘Us’ is predominantly about a father (Douglas) desperate to relate to a son (Albie) who is far more his mothers (Connie) child. Connie and Albie share a love for #art, whilst Douglas is frequently left out in the cold, despite his attempts to join in. Not only does Douglas have a distant son to contend with, but a drifting wife he can’t conceive of being without. As always with Nicholls, this tale is a bittersweet one and the ending is realistic, not idealistic, but Nicholls has never been afraid of hitting you right where it hurts with his endings and nor should he be.