THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
'That most rare and coveted of literary feats: a popular novel of serious merit, a bestseller that will also endure.' Observer
'Triumph ... the sense of nostalgia is visceral and intense, almost time-bending.' The Sunday Times
'Pitch perfect ... Exquisite ... Terrific ... Very funny ... Though Sweet Sorrow is certainly pulse-quickening enough to absorb readers through this summer's airport delays and rained-off beach days, it's no escapist fantasy. The tale of Charlie and Fran will linger long beyond your tan.' Telegraph
One life-changing summer
Charlie meets Fran...
In 1997, Charlie Lewis is the kind of boy you don't remember in the school photograph. His exams have not gone well. At home he is looking after his 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.
Then Fran Fisher bursts into his life and despite himself, Charlie begins to hope.
But if Charlie wants to be with Fran, he 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.
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.
'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
'A superbly written, beautifully observed account of teenage life, love, family dysfunction and friendship, which builds to a stunningly poignant ending.' Heat
'The author of Us and of course One Day has never written with more tenderness and insight than in this bittersweet story ... perfectly captures the dizzying highs and lows of first love.' Daily Express
'Such a beautiful book. Captures perfectly a moment in time we've all experienced.' Graham Norton
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It's tough to think of a modern writer that captures what love is about better than David Nicholls. The unpretentious relatability, the beautifully observed small details, the clarity with which he writes about heartbreak; all these trademark flourishes are present on his fifth novel. Sweet Sorrow is a gorgeous tale of first love and a coming-of-age story that’ll spark nostalgia and red-faced recognition. It’s also very, very funny. Our hero is Charlie: a 16-year-old heading into the summer low on confidence and prospects. His horizons are suddenly broadened spectacularly and terrifyingly by—quite predictably—a girl, and—quite unpredictably—Shakespeare. As we all know, the course of true love never did run smooth, and Nicholls guides us beautifully through a glorious summer you’ll not want to end.
A teenager experiences heady first love amid an amateur Shakespeare production in this amusing coming-of-age novel from Nicholls (One Day). Sixteen-year-old Charlie Lewis, certain he failed his school exams, spends the summer of 1997 working under the table at a small-town gas station, "too far away from London to be a suburb" and "too developed to count as countryside." There, he avoids caring for his unemployed father while stealing small sums of cash to cover household expenses. When he meets Fran Fisher, a girl his age from a much nicer private school, he gets swept into participating in a production of Romeo and Juliet. Fran and Charlie have delightful banter as their attraction blooms, and he builds rapport with the other actors while hiding his participation from his boorish school friends. After his boss uncovers his gas station thefts, the fallout has consequences, not the least being the ruin of a carefully planned weekend of sexual exploration with Fran. While the story lopes along fairly predictably, Nicholls excels at capturing Charlie's insecurity, the messy exuberance of first love, and the coarseness of teenage male friendships. This doesn't quite reach the heights of Nicholls's previous work, but it is a good deal of fun.