Published: February 9, 2016 (US)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
You might enjoy this book if you like: British rom-coms, pregnancy-centered romances from a male point of view, authors such as Jojo Moyes or Liane Moriarty.
Fisher and Ivy have been an item for all of nineteen days. Both of them have been in relationships before, and this time around, they know something is different—they are meant to be together. The fact that they know little else about each other is a minor detail.
But over the next year, a time in which their lives are irrevocably altered, Fisher and Ivy discover that falling in love is one thing—and staying there is an entirely different story.
I thought I knew what this book would be like before I read it...and I was sort of wrong. I mean, I knew it dealt with what comes after the honeymoon phase of a relationship (which is close to what happens in this book, but not quite) and there would be a certain British sense of humor about--think "Richard Curtis film." And it was those things, but it was also so much more.
Jones tells this story from Fisher's point of view, and the choice of a first-person narrator is a smart one. This more the story of Fisher than of Fisher and Ivy. Also, the inability to get inside Ivy's mind could have been detrimental to the story, but it is actually quite effective.
I'm not sure if I can accurately explain what I was thinking reading this book, but stay with me. Fisher is a great narrator--he's aware enough of his own emotions that the reader can trust him, but he's also in many ways the "typical guy." He's the kind of guy you would want to be your friend--and the secondary plot of his relationship with his terminally ill friend, El, shows what an awesome friend he would be. You can't help but root for the guy. Because of this, and because the book is really just his viewpoint, I found myself increasingly annoyed with Ivy.
But, instead of just "not liking" Ivy, I kept wanting Fisher to confront her, to say what needed to be said, to try to fix this relationship. In other words, I realized I really, really cared about these two people (yes, people...not characters) and their relationship. I cannot think of another book where I found myself so emotionally invested in the two characters, especially a book like this which is more of a "light" read.
That is not to say that this is truly a light book. I mentioned earlier the story line with El--that one is just simply heartbreaking. In fact, I found it more moving than a similar central story line in a recent, very widely-read and popular novel. There are also some difficult developments for Ivy and Fisher and their relationship. There were a few points in the book where I worried that Jones was going to take the easy way out and employ a common cliche, but he never does that.
The Two of Us is one of the best books of its type that I've read. It takes a realistic view of relationships, doesn't back away from the hard stuff, but still makes the reader care. I would recommend this to just about anyone.
I received an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review. I received no other compensation for this post.