Walking holiday

The awkwardness of love in middle age: You Are Here, by David Nicholls, reviewed

Zip up Heathcliff in Gore-Tex, give Cathy laugh-out-loud lines, fold in the poignancy of E.M. Forster, embed quaint maps, blisters, a dash of existential terror and heaps of heartache and you have David Nicholls’s latest novel. If Nicholls’s One Day (recently adapted for Netflix) is a bildungsroman, then You Are Here explores learning to love again later on in life. In One Day we had Emma and Dexter, and here we have Marnie and Michael. Michael is a 42-year-old geography teacher living in York, and Marnie is a 38-year-old proofreader from London. Both have endured the casual cruelty of broken marriages and have withdrawn into themselves to avoid future hurt.