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The two of us [text (large print)] / Andy Jones.

By: Jones, Andy (Andy P.) [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Charnwood.Publisher: Leicester : Thorpe, 2015Copyright date: ©2015Edition: Large print edition.Description: 400 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781444826333 (hbk); 1444826336.Other title: 2 of us.Subject(s): Man-woman relationships -- FictionGenre/Form: Large type books.Online resources: Click here to access online Summary: Fisher is fizzing with the euphoria of new love - laughing too loud, kissing more enthusiastically than is polite in public. How he met Ivy is academic; you don't ask how the rain began, you simply appreciate the rainbow. The two of them have been an item for less than three weeks - and they just know they are meant to be together. The fact that they know little else about each other is a minor detail... But over the coming months, in which their lives will change forever, Fisher and Ivy discover that falling in love is one thing, while staying there is an entirely different story...
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Fisher is fizzing with the euphoria of new love - laughing too loud, kissing more enthusiastically than is polite in public. How he met Ivy is academic; you don't ask how the rain began, you simply appreciate the rainbow. The two of them have been an item for less than three weeks - and they just know they are meant to be together. The fact that they know little else about each other is a minor detail... But over the coming months, in which their lives will change forever, Fisher and Ivy discover that falling in love is one thing, while staying there is an entirely different story...


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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

The Two of Us CHAPTER 2 "GET r. . . get rid that pi. . . pnapple." El can't always access the words he needs; and when he can, he can't always get them out of his mouth. It's much more than a stammer. The effort shows on his face as he attempts to force a word out against the kind of resistance you might encounter trying to blow syrup through a straw. Even so, manners cost nothing. "Magic word?" I say. "P. . . p. . . fuckig pronto." "That's better," I tell him, plucking the chunks of pineapple from his slice of pizza. El opens wide and I feed the tip of the folded slice into his mouth. His head wobbles but he succeeds in taking a bite without getting any more tomato sauce on his already smeared face. Beneath the sauce he has a deep tan, but it's not enough to create even an illusion of health. El and his partner, Phil, returned from a holiday in San Francisco two days ago. It's unlikely El has deteriorated significantly while he's been away, but his twitches and wobbles and speech do seem worse. "Wh. . . wh. . . wh. . ." "Who?" I try, and El shakes his head. "What?" El shakes his head again. "Lass one," he says. "Why?" El nods. "Why? Why would you p. . . put pnapple on a p. . ." He points a trembling finger at the pizza sitting between us. "It's a Hawaiian," I tell him. "You ordered it." El shrugs. "Like the name." Like all best friends living within ten miles of each other in London, El and I used to see each other about three times a year. But there's nothing quite like terminal illness to cure apathy. So around two years ago, when the Huntington's disease began to sink its teeth into him, we got into a routine of meeting every Tuesday. Initially we'd go to the pub, but as El's condition progressed he lost his tolerance for drink along with his inhibitions and grasp of social niceties. We changed venue to the local curry house, arriving early in the evening when the place was empty and El could swear, twitch, stammer, and drop his glass without an audience. But in the last few months, even that has become too difficult. So now it's pizza and alcohol-free beer in El's own living room. I suppose that somewhere in my mind he exists as the ten-year-old boy I rode my bike with, the teenager who I bought stolen pornography from, and the man who used to make me cry with laughter; and it's as if all the decline El has endured in the last few years--the constant twitching and jerking; lack of coordination, balance, and empathy; the weight loss, the loss, in fact, of all the subtleties and nuances that make El El--it feels today as if all the damage has been compacted into the three weeks he's been away. And whilst I know it hasn't, his speech is undeniably worse. Before he left for the pub, Phil told me he's finding it increasingly necessary to help El find his words, form his thoughts, and understand what other people are saying to him. I help myself to a slice of Quattro Formaggi, fold it in half, take a bite. "Still f. . . fuckig that g. . . woman," El says, looking at me, amused, waiting for a reaction. "I don't remember saying anything about fucking." "P. . . P. . . Pippa, wasn' it? Bounthy bounthy!" "Ivy," I say, wincing inwardly. "Her name is Ivy." "G. . . g. . . grows on you," he says, and although, like so many others, he said it the first time he heard Ivy's name, it makes me laugh because it's evidence that the old El is still--at least partially--with us. "Wh. . . wh. . . wh. . ." "Who? What? When? W--" "When! When d'I get to meet her?" Good question. After my last girlfriend, Kate, walked out on me, I did what any recently humiliated idiot would do. I slept with the receptionist at work. Pippa had an endearing but amusing habit of lisping "Bounthy bounthy" whenever she went on top. Which was quite often. Which . . . I told El. I know, I know--but he's my oldest friend and I couldn't resist. Well, the indiscretion has come back to punish me, because her name has lodged where so little else will--firmly in El's head. Unless my next girlfriend is a trampolinist called Pippa, it would probably be a mistake to introduce her to him. El looks at me: Well? "Soon," I say. El narrows his eyes. "Sh. . . she d. . . d. . . d. . ." "Can you spell it?" I ask, remembering what Phil told me about how to tease the words from El with various "cueing" techniques. "Or spell how it sounds?" The tendons on El's skinny neck stand taut with effort as he galvanizes himself for another attempt. "Duh. . . d. . . u. . ." "D-U?" El nods. "Mmm . . ." He twists his neck far to the left, his lips working mutely as if trying to snatch the next letter from the air, "P. . . D. . ." "D-U-M-P-D?" El swings his hands together, connecting just enough to consider it a clap. "She d. . . dumped you . . . f. . . figured y'out. Ha-ha-ha." "How's that funny?" "S'pose it's not really," he says, suddenly straight-faced. "Sad, tragic, pred. . . pred. . ." "Predictable?" El jabs a finger at me like a game-show host pointing out a winning contestant. "I hate to burst your miserable bubble," I say, "but Ivy has not dumped me." "Ye. . . ye. . . y. . ." I know what the bastard's driving at, but I'm damned if I'm going to make it any easier for him. "Fuck it," says El. "D'you think you cn carry me?" I doubt El ever achieved his teenage goal of reaching five feet six, and he was skinny before the Huntington's began eroding him. He can't weigh much more than one of my ten-year-old nieces. "I'm pretty sure I could throw you clean out of the window," I tell him. El contemplates this. "B. . . be quicker," he says. The house El shares with Phil ranges over five floors. The front door sits atop a short flight of tiled steps leading to the drive and the busy road that runs past the house. El wants "f. . . fresh air," so I pick him up, carry him down three dozen steps, and set him gently on the threshold. It turns out he's lighter than he looks, but the effort has my arms tingling. After some initial difficulty, El removes a packet of cigarettes and a lighter from his pocket. "L. . . light one f'me," he says. I do as I'm asked and pass the burning Marlboro to El. "You don't smoke," I tell him. El holds up evidence to the contrary and blows smoke in my direction. The traffic here is relentless, so the face full of smoke amounts to little more than an insult in the cloud of pollution that surrounds us on this balmy August evening. "Well, you didn't three weeks ago." El inhales deeply, holds the full-tar smoke in his lungs, widens, and then crosses his eyes. I wait for him to turn green, cough, splutter--like they do in the movies--but El merely opens his mouth and lets the smoke slowly escape his lungs. "W. . . wan' one?" "No, thank you, filthy habit." "Thass what Phil says." He grins. "But they do make y'look c. . . f. . . cool as f. . . fuck." "That they do," I tell him. Pollution aside, it's pleasant sitting on the steps and watching the folk and traffic move by at approximately the same pace. El is on his third fag when we see Phil shuffling back to the flat. He shakes his head when he sees us, then flicks me a small wave. "Boys," he says, mounting the steps. "Having a party?" And he tuts as he collects El's butts and folds them into a paper tissue. "Thank you, d. . . darling," says El. "You're most unwelcome," says Phil, sitting between us and plucking the cigarette from El's fingers. He takes a drag and passes the cigarette back to El. "Filthy fucking habit." "All the b. . . b. . . bess ones are," says El, winking at me. "True enough," says Phil. "What's brought all this"--I waft cigarette smoke away from my face--"on, anyway?" Phil looks at the ground and shakes his head again. "Member that S. . . Smiths song?" says El. " 'Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want'?" offers Phil with a sly smile. " 'Bigmouth Strikes Again'?" I try. "Pair of f. . . fuckig jokers. N. . . no. 'What D. . . Di. . . Diff. . . fuckit!" "I know," says Phil, gently. He takes the Marlboro from El and takes a deep pull before passing it back. " 'What Difference Does It Make?' " And, God, do I wish I smoked. "So," I say. "How was the pub?" "Crowded, noisy, and yet somehow still bereft of atmosphere," says Phil. "Sh. . . sh. . . shoulda gone t. . . to the p. . . b. . . p. . . puff pub." "I did," says Phil. "S. . . s. . . s. . ." "Good God," says Phil. "It's bad enough having the pip-squeak take the piss with every other breath. But waiting for him to spit it out like this . . . I swear to God, it's like waiting for a bloody firing squad to pull the trigger." "S. . . s. . ." and the mischievous look in El's eye would appear to confirm that whatever he is struggling (although you really never know with El) to say, it's got a barb on it. "Suck any cock?" "I hate to disappoint you, dear heart, but the only thing to pass my lips was a rather thin Merlot." El shrugs petulantly. Earlier this year he invested a considerable amount of breath and effort in trying to convince Phil to find a new boyfriend. As well as the physical symptoms, Huntington's disease subtracts character and personality, it wears down logic and reason and social inhibition in its victims. Add to this that El has always reveled in the inappropriate, and the result can be sad, funny, and deeply confusing. But there was more to El's dispassionate matchmaking than his disease or his devilment. He understands that he is dying, and that before the end comes he will be diminished beyond recognition. The problem, as El sees it, is that he could last another ten years, by which time Phil will be well into his fifties--hence various nonsense like El "dumping" Phil and enrolling him on dating Web sites "w. . . w. . . while he's still y. . . young 'nough to find somne else." As romantic gestures go, it's about the best I have ever witnessed. "F. . . Fisher got dumped," says El. Phil cocks an eyebrow. "No Fisher did not," I say. "Yet," says El, without even a hint of difficulty. Excerpted from The Two of Us by Andy Jones All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Londoner William Fisher directs commercials (the ever-popular loo roll--toilet paper), Ivy Lee does hair and makeup. Now, after weeks of pretty much nothing but shagging, they are at Fisher's childhood home, where Ivy is introduced to his family. But things feel off suddenly, with Ivy being a bit distant. Then, as they return to town, Fisher discovers information to which he was previously not privy: Ivy is 41 years old, nearly a decade older than he is, and she is pregnant. Rather than run for the hills, Fisher instead nestles into the prospect of a child and a permanent relationship with his child's mother. Then Ivy's hulking dentist brother Frank arrives on their doorstep to stay for a while; Fisher's best mate, El, is deteriorating from Huntington's disease; Fisher and Ivy haven't had sex since her announcement; and the sonogram reveals not one baby, but two. VERDICT Jones's debut novel is a mesmerizing tale of modern love. Fisher drinks too much and dissects every glance from his "girlfriend" as he accepts his new responsibilities and assays what it means to be a family. Captivating and funny; highly recommended.-Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

In this entertaining romcom set in present-day England, Fisher and Ivy have been dating for all of 19 days when Ivy finds out that she's pregnant. Rolling with the punches, they decide to move in together and build a shared life. As Fisher, a director of commercials, so aptly puts it, they've "leapfrogged the romance and gone straight to starting a family and passing out in front of the telly." Over nine months (and slightly beyond), the author charts the course of this new relationship and instant family, which is not all smooth sailing. Fisher and Ivy are informed that they'll be having twins; Ivy's loutish brother, Frank, moves in with them temporarily; and Fisher is tempted to flirt with an attractive colleague. Adding poignancy to the story is the presence of Fisher's best friend, El, who is in the terminal stages of Huntington's disease. The premise is contrived, but Jones proves himself adept at writing sensitively about modern relationships. The story is told solely from Fisher's point of view, which unfortunately renders Ivy somewhat opaque. His narration is charming but facile until the last chapters, which achieve a touching honesty as Fisher and Ivy are forced to deal with a tragedy that lends a dramatic aspect to this otherwise lightweight romantic novel. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

William Fisher has known Ivy Lee for 19 days, but he knows that she is the One. Never mind that they barely know each other they know each other. Then Fisher discovers that Ivy is actually nine years older than he, but he deals. Then he finds out she's pregnant. With twins. Still convinced that they are meant to be together, they move into Ivy's apartment and prepare for the babies. Then Ivy's brother, Frank, moves into the spare bedroom, escaping marital difficulties. Then Fisher's best friend's Huntington's disease gets exponentially worse. Professionally frustrated directing commercials for diapers and tampons, Fisher seizes the chance to direct a short film written by an attractive young colleague. Despite all of the external hurdles, the biggest roadblock to Fisher's happiness is his own head, and readers may want to throttle him. But who among us hasn't been young-ish and stupid in love? Fans of British chick lit will love watching Fisher figure it out, especially after a final, tragic twist.--Maguire, Susan Copyright 2016 Booklist