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From the best-selling author of One Day comes a bittersweet and brilliantly funny coming-of-age tale about the heart-stopping thrill of first love—and how just one summer can forever change a life.
Now: On the verge of marriage and a fresh start, thirty-eight year old Charlie Lewis finds that he can’t stop thinking about the past, and the events of one particular summer.
Then: Sixteen-year-old Charlie Lewis is the kind of boy you don’t remember in the school photograph. He’s failing his classes. At home he looks after his depressed father—when surely it should be the other way round—and if he thinks about the future at all, it is with a kind of dread.
But when Fran Fisher bursts into his life and despite himself, Charlie begins to hope.
In order to spend time with Fran, Charlie must take on a challenge that could lose him the respect of his friends and require him to become a different person. He must join the Company. And if the Company sounds like a cult, the truth is even more appalling: The price of hope, it seems, is Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet learned and performed in a theater troupe over the course of a summer.
Now: Charlie can’t go the altar without coming to terms with his relationship with Fran, his friends, and his former self. Poignant, funny, enchanting, devastating, Sweet Sorrow is a tragicomedy about the rocky path to adulthood and the confusion of family life, a celebration of the reviving power of friendship and that brief, searing explosion of first love that can only be looked at directly after it has burned out.
"David Nicholls' Sweet Sorrow perfectly captures the intensity of first love, the beauty of a chosen family, and the complexity of transforming from a teenager to an adult. These are characters I'll be thinking about for a long time to come."—Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost
“A beautiful paean to young love. . . Sweet Sorrow is a book that does what Nicholls does best, sinking the reader deep into a nostalgic memory-scape, pinning the narrative to a love story that manages to be moving without ever tipping over into sentimentality, all of it composed with deftness, intelligence and, most importantly, humour. We may think of Nicholls as a writer of heartbreakers–One Day prompted many poolside tears – but he has always been a comic novelist and Sweet Sorrow is full of passages of laugh-out-loud Inbetweeners-ish humour. . .Here he proves that he can still pull off that most rare and coveted of literary feats: a popular novel of serious merit, a bestseller that will also endure.” —Guardian
“Nicholls' literary talents are impressive . . . the sense of nostalgia is visceral and intense, almost time-bending.”—The Sunday Times
“A compassionate, intelligent look at the raw pain and loneliness of a teenage boy, the everyday miracle of first love and the perennial power of Shakespeare’s language.”—Spectator
“Sweet Sorrow [is] . . . an ideal blend of the gently humorous and utterly heartfelt. It made me feel like something had swollen up inside my chest, and readers are liable to find their thoughts drifting over their own misspent school holidays or crushingly ardent first loves. Bag a copy immediately, because this has got “perfect summer read” smeared all over it like so much factor 30.” —Independent
“[Nicholls] remains one of the most acute chroniclers of England as it is now…and few can rival his grasp of the period’s minor-key class signifiers…And of course the novel skips along merrily; the repartee frequently sparkles, the jokes are genuinely funny, walk-on characters are brilliantly sketched into life, and his genuine affection for the main players is evident throughout.” —Financial Times
David Nicholls is the best-selling author of Us, One Day, The Understudy and Starter for Ten. His novels have sold over eight million copies worldwide and are published in forty languages. Nicholls trained as an actor before making the switch to writing, and he recently won a BAFTA for Patrick Melrose, his adaptation of the novels by Edward St Aubyn, which also won him an Emmy nomination. He lives in London.
Born and raised in the Boston area, Amor Towles graduated from Yale College and received an MA in English from Stanford University. Having worked as an investment professional for over twenty years, Mr. Towles now devotes himself full time to writing in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children. Rules of Civility, which was published in 2011, was a New York Times bestseller and was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2011. The book has been translated into over 20 languages, its French translation receiving the 2012 Prix Fitzgerald. Towles’s second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, which was published in 2016, was on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year in hardcover and was named one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR. The book has been translated into over thirty-five languages including Russian. In the summer of 2017, the novel was optioned by EOne and the British director Tom Harper to be made into a 16 hour miniseries starring Kenneth Branagh.