David Nicholls is a well respected writer who has been hugely acknowledged for previous novels such as “One Day” as I mentioned in a previous post. His style of writing is very unique as he almost becomes the character that he is creating. In his latest novel “US” Nicholls creates quite an unlikeable character, Douglas. Douglas is an awkward person who is very set in his ways and his beliefs. Being a scientist he sees things such as love and the love of a child as being that of a scientific equation.
In this story we are brought through Douglas’ past present and future in aspects of his love for his wife Connie and his son known as Egg as they set out across Europe for “the grand tour”. Douglas is completely unsure of his future with his family and wants to use this time to get them back on track but of course things do not go according to plan.
I commented in an earlier post that I didn’t quite fall in love with this story but I definitely have great appreciation for it. Writers are very lucky people who have the ability to create worlds and characters and while I believe all writers have a huge sense of empathy and the ability to put themselves in any situation I don’t think I have ever quite seen someone capture a character in this way that Mr Nicholls has done. Writing this entire novel from Douglas’ point of view and in Douglas’ words really captures the essence of the character.
I feel like it is as close to acting as you can get without jumping on stage. I didn’t love the character Douglas’ but as I continued on to the end of the story I realised I am really not supposed to. To be able to feel how annoyingly awkward he was is actually a wonderful compliment to the writing of David Nicholls and when I look beyond those annoyances it truly is a heart melting story. I found the latter part of the book a lot easier to read and that is when it became a page turner for me. I could see the way in which this love story unfolded and feel the happiness and heartache.
I would recommend this book to others because it is something that deserves to be read. It may not be a page turner but there is so much to appreciate. There is so much in this book that makes you think about your own love life, your own mismatches and how your own life may unfold.
If anyone else has read this book and would like to give their opinion I think a friendly online debate would be fantastic 🙂