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Never Greener

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Jones is a Welsh television actress and writer known for her work on shows such as Gavin & Stacey and Stella. It felt like we only got glimpses of insight, Kate is definitely carrying a great deal of darkness but why? The most interesting character is Belinda and I almost feel that this story would have been better told from her personal perspective, but that has been done before.

I decided to read this novel after enjoying her second novel 'Us Three'. This is her debut novel Never Greener and tells the story of two marriages. One couple who are enjoying married life and the other one less so mixed with an old affair that is rekindled and threatens to rip them apart. Oggi ho recuperato una lettura che avevo in lista ma che non riuscivo a leggere. Finalmente ho avuto un po' di tempo libero e mi sono dedicata ad “Ancora noi” di Ruth Jones, edito Sperling&Kupfer.La moglie vuole fare l'amore con lui (giustamente, essendo suo marito) e lui si sente in colpa di tradire Kate e pensa a lei durante l'amplesso. Ho pensato: "ma non ti fai schifo come uomo? Questa donna ti ha amato, perdonato e ha cresciuto i tuoi figli e tu hai il coraggio di riempirla di bugie per una donna che ti fa perdere il senno?". 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. There's been a trend popping up recently, at least in my life, of unlikeable characters. No, this isn't a thinly veiled attempt to shame my colleagues and peers or my nearest and dearest in the national press, but rather a nod to the books and TV programmes I've been consuming. Louise O'Neill's recently released Almost Love struggles to present you with even one character you feel deserves your pity or empathy or forgiveness.

Jones dips in and out of these many lives and these many timelines and between London and Edinburgh, but never once loses you, and never once stops you from wondering when redemption will come for Kate and Callum, or will it ever come? Kate gets the hardest time. Her issues with food and alcohol surface again and again. Her mental health struggles are framed through Matt’s concerned eyes. Her obsession with her appearance and her desirability build and build, while her fragility only occasionally pokes through. In contrast, those weaker souls: the acquiescing Matt, the unsuspecting Belinda, the bumbling Hetty, they begin to shine. They give you something to root for.It’s written like a TV show/film, you can picture everything in detail but you still get the joy of being in the characters’ heads. Never Greener provides no laughs, so again if it's Nessa from Gavin and Stacey you're after, you'll be disappointed. These are sad and messy lives and what redemption there is hard earned both by the reader and the characters. But those characters are well rounded and believable, their yearning and heartache is palpable, and their flaws are stark. And just like with Apatow's Love, or O'Neill's Almost Love, you're uncertain for much of the book who you should be rooting for, if anyone. But you'll get there, don't worry. Emer McLysaght

MyHome.ie (Opens in new window) • Top 1000 • The Gloss (Opens in new window) • Recruit Ireland (Opens in new window) • Irish Times Training (Opens in new window) Callum is married to Belinda and they have two children with another on the way. Everything seems to be going well now after surviving an affair twenty years ago when he cheated on Belinda with aspiring actress Kate, just hours after meeting her. It's an affair that threatened to end their marriage and hurt so many people. So when seventeen years later Callum and Kate meet by chance, marriages and lives are threatened again. On reuniting they both find it impossible to stay away from each other and the troubles begin. Callum ha una relazione extraconiugale con Kate, interrotta solo quando viene scoperto da sua moglie Belinda. Ma, dopo 17 anni, imperterriti, i due si ritrovano e ridiventano amanti. Il tempo intercorso tra le due relazioni, viene svelato capitolo dopo capitolo, in modo da meglio capire le dinamiche, gli avvenimenti, le scelte fatte dai protagonisti che, nonostante tutto, non si sono mai dimenticati. Kate è la rovina famiglia, l' amante, talmente egoista da mettere in secondo piano il benessere di sua figlia pur di riavere il suo vecchio amore. Matt è il marito, un uomo buono, padre affettuoso e amorevole. Belinda è la moglie tradita, che ha molto sofferto per il rifiuto del marito, ma l'ho apprezzata per le sue ferme decisioni e la forza mostrata. Callum l'ho odiato. Ha distrutto la sua famiglia, suo moglie e i suoi figli, portandoli alla condizione di non volerlo più rivedere. Particolarmente struggente sono stati l incontro, dopo che è andato via di casa, con suo figlio, e il dolore della piccola Tallulah quando Matt ha scoperto il tradimento e, distrutto, è ripartito da solo

There is a huge cast of characters whose viewpoints are examined which did make the book drag a little and I felt the book lost its momentum slightly at times (I wondered if I felt this way because it was an audiobook and pacing is so important when listening rather than reading.) I do like a book with multiple viewpoints though and felt that it really added to getting under the skin of the characters and the impact of the affair upon them.

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