Book Review: Never Greener by Ruth Jones

The past has a habit of tracking us down. And tripping us up.

When Kate was twenty-two, she had an intense and passionate affair with a married man, Callum, which ended in heartbreak. Kate thought she’d never get over it.

Seventeen years later, life has moved on – Kate, now a successful actress, is living in London, married to Matt and mother to little Tallulah. Meanwhile Callum and his wife Belinda are happy together, living in Edinburgh and watching their kids grow up. The past, it would seem, is well and truly behind them all.

But then Kate meets Callum again.

And they are faced with a choice: to walk away from each other…or to risk finding out what might have been.

Second chances are a rare gift in life. But that doesn’t mean they should always be taken…

What I Thought:
I absolutely love Ruth Jones’ writing – Gavin and Stacey is repeat viewing for me – but Never Greener marks the start of her hopefully lengthy career in novel writing.

Never Greener is a knotty domestic tale of forbidden first love – or is it really love? Is it just sexual attraction? – and asks whether we can ever go back to something that meant a lot to us. I read an interview with Ruth where she said that the threads of this book came out of the sudden surge of extra-marital affairs with the advent of Friends Reunited and Facebook, former first loves finding each other again and the inevitable fallout of that.

I found this book unique in the fact that Kate is an awful woman. As the book goes on, we find out things about her which show us that, perhaps she is driven by demons, but even in her initial affair with Callum she seems to calculatingly goes after her man, despite knowing he is married, and her obsessive behaviour continues into the woman we see 15 years later.

By no means is Callum innocent in all of this – he was within his power to say no to cheating on his pregnant wife, and yet he decided not to, so you can imagine my feelings about him!

It’s no mean feat to write a book where the main characters are not particularly likeable – whether through their one-off actions, or as part of their make up – but Ruth manages to make you want to know how the mess they have made of their lives – twice – turns out and the resolution might not be to everyone’s liking, but it definitely suited me.

Never Greener is published by Bantam Press on 5th April. You can find out more about Ruth Jones and connect with her on Facebook.

Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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