'Last summer, a short time before my son was due to leave home for college, my wife woke me in the middle of the night…
"I think our marriage has run its course. I think I want to leave you."'
Empty nest crisis
This is the cracking start of David Nicholls' follow-up to One Day. Us is a painfully familiar portrait of a family on the brink of a massive empty nest crisis and a father on the verge of breaking down. That sounds deadly serious, but it's funny too, and that's probably why it hits home so hard.
Fathers and sons
What I loved most is the honest portrayal of the agonising relationship between father and son. And the acknowledgement that it's not just mothers who feel the impact of the empty nest. This dad is totally thrown by it.