David Nicholl's has been at it again, making me think long and hard about life, relationships and everything in-between with his beautifully written new novel, Us.
As usual, David presents a highly quotable book filled with emotion and humour. Main character, Douglas Peterson is a pedantically organised biochemist, whereas his wife Connie is a flamboyant and free-spirited artist.
This book outlines their entire life together from when they right through to current day where they're taking their 17 year old son on a trip around Europe - the thing is, Connie has landed the bombshell of a potential divorce before the trip, which makes things spectacularly uncomfortable.
The narrative jumps back and forth between current day and the significant memories and milestones of Douglas and Connie's relationship. It was great as a reader to be drip feed information as it made you actively piece things together to fully figure out the characters.
There was some highly comedic moments and there was definitely heartbreaking ones too. The emotion represented was raw and all three of the characters were presented in vulnerable states as well as comedic ones. The core of the novel is watching the strains of marriage slowly tear two people apart.
One of the aspects I adored was the trip around Europe, the novel is split into parts that depict the country the family are traveling to. There are plenty of trips around all of the different art galleries were some of the paintings are described in details. There's even a map at the back of the book that outlines exactly where they went and which museums they visited, so you could do the trip yourself! (Hopefully without a family union that seems to be falling apart.)
Overall, a stunning book that I think anybody who has an interest in relationships and family life would enjoy.