The Three of U.S.: A New Life in New York

 
9780006531586: The Three of U.S.: A New Life in New York

After a decade in the London media, Joanna Coles and Peter Godwin set sail for a new life in New York. The Three of U.S. is the amusing diary of an affectionate but unconventional and frequently volatile relationship between two competing hypochondriacs about to become parents.

He’s preoccupied by the lump on his elbow. She’s trying to determine the accuracy of the DIY pregnancy-testing kit.

In September 1997, as the quay side band played them off in the drizzle, they anticipated a life of glamorous parties, power brunches and weekend trips to the Bahamas. She had been posted to New York as the Guardian correspondent – but discovered that most New Yorkers mistake the paper for the in-house pamphlet published by La Guardia Airport. He decided to write ‘the novel’: a year later, it’s largely unfinished.

What will make them most anxious – learning that they earn less than their neighbour’s dog, or being mistaken for a serial killer by the local newsagent? Neither of these: it’s the pink line on the second box of the tester stick… For Joanna’s is a pelvis with a passenger.

In this joint diary, we follow the progress of two resident aliens acclimatising to the eccentricities of the Big Apple – and to the idea of parenthood. Drawing on an eclectic cast of supporting characters – from over-achieving, pill-popping friends, to their drill sergeant of a birthing instructor and fearsome cleaning ladies – The Three of U.S. is a wryly real look at the panic of thirtysomethings everywhere.

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Review:

When journalist Joanna Coles and her partner Peter Godwin decided to pack up and head off to join the high life of the literati in good old New York, little did they know that Joanna would soon be playing host to a new creation that neither of them were quite prepared for. As the pair get to grips with the madness of the Big Apple and the passenger in Joanna's pelvis prepares itself for the Big Entry, the couple wing it as writers about town, she working in a deserted office for The Guardian and he practising his work-avoidance techniques as he does battle with the Novel.

The Three of U.S. is the diary of two supposedly intelligent human beings whose brains are slowly being turned to mush by a pregnancy that forces both of them to reassess their lives amid the lunacy of New York. As their two diaries, running concurrently through the book, tell of their loft-living moments overlooking hookers' paradise, their high-rolling, pill-popping buddies, the search for a gynaecologist with all his faculties, the terror of Lamaze classes and the daily battles with removal men and cleaners, the reader joins them on the slippery slope towards parenthood in the city that never sleeps, taking in the pain of a journey of discovery that leaves both authors breathless and bewildered.

A dry, sideways look at life in New York by a couple of resident aliens on the edge, The Three of U.S is an amusing, observational log of thirty-something neuroses magnified by the glare of the wit and wisdom of two accomplished writers on the brink. --Susan Harrison

Review:

‘sharp, true and funny’
Evening Standard

‘this witty and rueful chronicle is, unlike giving birth, nothing but fun’
The Times

‘a droll, delightful diary’
She

‘funny and moving’
Marie Claire

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Joanna Coles, Peter Godwin
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