ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – You Are Here by David Nicholls

You Are Here by David Nicholls is published by Sceptre and out now in hardcover, eBook and audiobook. My thanks to the publishers for the proof copy.

Sometimes you need to get lost to find your way

Marnie is stuck.
Stuck working alone in her London flat, stuck battling the long afternoons and a life that often feels like it’s passing her by.

Michael is coming undone.
Reeling from his wife’s departure, increasingly reclusive, taking himself on long, solitary walks across the moors and fells.

When a persistent mutual friend and some very English weather conspire to bring them together, Marnie and Michael suddenly find themselves alone on the most epic of walks and on the precipice of a new friendship.

But can they survive the journey?

A new love story by beloved bestseller David Nicholls, You Are Here is a novel of first encounters, second chances and finding the way home.

With the number of glowing reviews You Are Here was getting, I was a bit wary when I was picking it up to read. Would I love Marnie and Michael’s trek across the country as much as everyone else? I needn’t have worried. I was in David Nicholls’ safe hands and I adored this wonderful and witty story.

Marnie and Michael meet when they are part of a small group put together to enjoy a few days walking. They couldn’t be more different. Michael is a seasoned walker, a man getting more and more used to his own company, whereas Marnie is a city dweller, also used to being alone but not exactly thriving on it. Michael starts off with an intention to walk coast to coast from Cumbria to North Yorkshire and along the way, often (and quite unexpectedly) with Marnie by his side, a desire for change starts to creep over both of them.

The story is told in chapters alternately from both points of view and it gave a real insight into what each character was thinking. I don’t think a chapter went by when I didn’t laugh out loud. The wry, observational humour is written to perfection, and yet this is also such a poignant read, a thoughtful book that never descends into melancholy, and felt true to life and the power of human emotions.

You Are Here was a complete joy to read. I loved every second of my journey with Michael and Marnie, made all the better for the fact that it wasn’t me out there in my waterproofs getting soaked through, sweaty and muddy! Despite that, it left me *almost* fancying an epic walk across the country myself because Nicholls writes it so beautifully. This is a character driven ode to the windswept and stunning landscapes to be found outside our own enclosed worlds, a story of second chances and chance encounters. I thought it was superb.

David Nicholls is the bestselling author of Starter for Ten, The Understudy, One Day, Us, Sweet Sorrow and You Are HereOne Day was published in 2009 to extraordinary critical acclaim: translated into 40 languages, it became a global bestseller, selling millions of copies worldwide. His fourth novel, Us, was longlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction.
On screen, David has written adaptations of Far from the Madding CrowdWhen Did You Last See Your Father? and Great Expectations, as well as of his own novels, Starter for Ten, One Day and Us. His adaptation of Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, was nominated for an Emmy and won him a BAFTA for best writer. The Netflix adaptation of One Day was executive-produced by David.


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