Us

4 of 5
Us
416 pages; Harper
Novelist David Nicholls's latest, Us (Harper), is a smartly optimistic romantic comedy that uses angst and humor to illuminate the resilience of the human heart. After Douglas's wife of more than 20 years casually mentions that she wants to separate after their imminent family vacation—a carefully planned jaunt through Europe with their sullen teenage son in tow—what should have been the trip of a lifetime turns into a misadventure-filled farewell tour. Part requiem, part reboot, Douglas's endearingly inept efforts to preserve his disintegrating family take him on another kind of journey, too, from despair to unexpected joy.
— Sarah Meyer