I feel bad. I dismissed David Nicholls as Not for Me based on the success of the book and film of One Day. But the other week I saw his latest book, Us, for cheap in on Amazon and picked it up for my commute, thinking it would be something that wasn’t too taxing and could be easily interrupted when I changed at Oxford Circus.
However, this is an often touching and deftly comic tale of the end of a relationship, woven in along with the back story of how the couple came together in the first place. A Guardian review criticises the book for being puritanical at times, but I think that just fits in neatly with the personality of the protagonist, Douglas. The story is driven along by the family’s modern Grand Tour of Europe along with their almost-grown son, and the critiques of the art the families sees are particularly great, possibly because of my recent visit to the Rijksmuseum.