Sweet Sorrow review: A quiet, tender testament to first love

David Nicholls, the author of One Day and Us, returns with a bittersweet but comic coming-of-age novel

David Nicholls: His latest novel, Sweet Sorrow, is more indie-movie than Hollywood blockbuster. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty Images

David Nicholls: His latest novel, Sweet Sorrow, is more indie-movie than Hollywood blockbuster. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty Images

The year 1997 was a seminal year for Great Britain; in just 12 months the nation was rocked by the death of Princess Diana, Titanic was released, the first Harry Potter book was published, Britpop was in full swing and Labour ended 18 years of Conservative government. And yet for Charlie Lewis, the protagonist of David Nicholls fifth novel, Sweet Sorrow, 1997 will be remembered for its life-changing summer when he fell in love with Fran.

A decade after publishing his international bestseller, One Day, and four years since the Booker nominated, Us, Nicholls returns with a bittersweet but comic coming-of-age novel that articulates the poignancy of teenage dreams with great alacrity.

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