I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
I have to admit that I was a bit lukewarm on ONE DAY. I just didn't connect with it. I think Nicholls' caught me at just the right moment with US. Doug Petersen has a pretty decent life. He has a good job, a wife he adores, a comfortable home, and an almost-grown son. Through his 17-year-old son Albie is bit moody and unpleasant, he is about to leave for school and Doug has planned one last family trip of a Grand Tour around Europe. Right before the trip, Doug's wife Connie wakes him up and tells him she doesn't want to be married to him anymore. The pronouncement shakes Doug's world and he decides that the Grand Tour will now be a trip to reconnect with and save his family.
Although I still have awhile to go before I am Doug's age, something about his story really connected with me. Since I also have an only child who is a son, the story made me wonder what the future holds for my child and my relationships. As we follow Doug and his family on their disastrous trip, the story manages to be both humorous and heartbreaking. Doug must confront facts about his family and who they really are and must take ownership of his own failings as a husband and father. Even so, you can't help rooting for this family to weather the storm and survive. There were moments when I laughed out loud and others that nearly brought me to tears. Told in both the present tense and in flashbacks, the reader gets a clear idea of who these people are and the stresses of family life that led Doug, Connie and Albie to this point. I found it incredibly moving and well done.
BOTTOM LINE: Highly recommended. This may end up being one of my favorite books this year. A wonderful story about a family in distress against the backdrop of European travels.