Us by David Nichols
(Harper / HarperAudio, 2014)
Format: audio via library (narrated by David Haig)
From Goodreads:"Douglas Petersen understands his wife's need to 'rediscover herself' now that their son is leaving home.
He just thought they'd be doing their rediscovering together.
So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.
The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.
What could possibly go wrong?"
This is my second Nichols - like 'everyone' I read One Day back in the day. I wasn't sure for the first third or so why I especially cared about Douglas and Connie and their bratty son and their failing marriage. Sure, Douglas was a little, um, dull, but even his selfish family ought to have been able to tell that he cared, even while he was being wrong-footed about showing it.
But the drag of the introductory period finally let up and Douglas's voice began to shine through. He's a little hopeless and a lot likable and his journey across Europe with his family isn't a thing like the one he meticulously planned, but it's the one he needs, nevertheless.
David Haig is a new-to-me narrator, and he was good at inhabiting Douglas's sometimes fretful but always measured voice. I don't think he could have done a thing more to make this a higher-rated listen for me, given the fine but not overwhelmingly compelling source material.
I don't mind having listened, but in a category as strong as this year's contenders for the Fiction Audies, this one is easy to put at the bottom of the pile.