We're giving 100 Caboodlers the chance to read Sweet Sorrow, the new novel by David Nicholls – author of One Day and Starter for Ten – before it's out in July.
'It’s just… the summer’s so long and I’ve got nothing else to do and I don’t know, don’t you ever want to try something… new?’
Sixteen-year-old Charlie Lewis is the kind of boy you don’t remember in the school photograph. His exams have not gone well, while at home he is looking after his father, when surely it should be the other way round. 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 accept a challenge that will lose him the respect of his friends and almost 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 novel about negotiating the rocky path to adulthood, a hymn to the tragicomedy of family life, a celebration of the reviving power of friendship and that brief, searing explosion of first love that perhaps can only be looked at directly after it has burned out.
Read a chapter