I have been on holidays the last two weeks (skiing in Silverstar in Canada).

My holiday reading was Us by David Nicholls, which I absolutely loved. I gave it 5 stars.


What I loved about this book was:

  • It was believable. At the moment I don’t read much fiction (too busy, other priorities) and I think this makes me less forgiving of dubious plots and unlikely coincidences. One of the pleasures of reading this book was how realistic it was in describing an average life. My life.
  • It wasn’t predictable. At one point I almost gave up because I thought I knew where the story was going, but then there is a major change that alters the whole book. From that point onwards I could not put the book down. It definitely gets better in the second half.
  • It wasn’t too grim. You would think given the nature of the story – a woman wanting to leave her marriage – that this story would be very sad, too sad, but it isn’t. Chapters flip between the sad present to the happy past in a way that gives you hope.
  • I loved the ending. Again, I could not predict it. I couldn’t see how he could manage to close the book off in a satisfactory way, but he did. Very impressed. 10 points for landing.
  • I loved the philosophy. Intertwined with the basic story are many philosophical thoughts voiced by the character of Douglas. I really loved these. Absolutely agreed with them. Many I hadn’t heard before.

Perhaps grief is as much regret for what we have never had as sorrow for what we have lost.

David Nicholls, Us