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Never Greener

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Saying that though, Ruth Jones really can write people and she writes them incredibly well. Kate is brittle, fake, toxic and a huge contrast to her kind, loving, compassionate husband Matt (who I really liked). Callum and his wife Belinda are both brilliantly written and the insights into relationships of both couples are drawn with an expert eye and deft touch. It is also laugh out loud funny in places with clever observations of emotions and the complications of life. 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.

On the face of it, this sounds like a novel to slog through of hard-to-like characters making harmful and hurtful decisions. But I was okay with that, going in. After all, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s brilliant ‘Fleabag’ TV series showed us the bitingly funny and complex humanity behind “toxic” people and their self-destruction. Something of ‘Never Greener’ also reminded me of British drama shows that had explored infidelity thoughtfully, and from many angles. ‘The 7.39’, starring David Morrissey for instance, and a David Tennant episode of ‘True Love’ that’s about a happily married-man bumping into ‘the one that got away’ and getting a brief, second chance with her. Both of these were examples of solid storytelling that didn’t reduce people down to ‘good’ and ‘bad’, but looked at the myriad ways we choose love, and exist within the ramifications of our choices. Ruth Jones is best known for her outstanding and award-winning television writing, most notably BBC One's Gavin and Stacey, which she co-wrote with James Corden and in which she played the incorrigible Nessa Jenkins. The 2019 Christmas Day special of Gavin and Stacey gained national critical acclaim, drawing an audience of over 18 million, winning a BAFTA for TV moment of the year and a National Television Award for Impact. Ruth also created and co-wrote Sky One's Stella, which ran for six series. Ruth has starred in several other television comedies and dramas. Kate you really should not like her at times I really hated her. However she defines a human being who has made some big mistakes but she pays for them big style. She is seriously messed up and times. The most fantastic of actress who can hide it to most. I love how her and Matt become better as friends with now their twenty one year old daughter. Her ending though makes way for so much more with a grown up son to get to know.It’s a tough slog to read this unfolding “romance”, and certainly not a story about the nuance of affection and affairs (Ruth Jones is no Liane Moriarty, or Mhairi McFarlane – for instance – both of whom regularly unearth the murkiness of lust and love). In fact, the entirely of Callum and Kate’s intense sexual chemistry (we’re told) seems to be down to the fact that Kate is really really ridiculously good looking. Just really stunningly gorgeous. And Callum is a fit ex-Rugby man. Again – because we really don’t read them relating to one another as people, just the (summarised) very brilliant sex they’re having, it’s a real stretch to believe their fiery passion … I had such high hopes for this book, and I did come away disappointed … but I don’t think I had unreasonably high expectations. ‘Gavin & Stacey’ was a solid British comedy; ‘Stella’ was a more blue-collar drama, but no less charming. ‘Never Greener’ though reads like someone who is very green when it comes to novel-writing. The book leaps between 2002 and 1985 – describing Kate and Callum’s intense love affair when it first began (then ended in heartbreak) and again when it’s rekindled in 2002 after a chance encounter, when Callum is now in his 60s (still happily married to his wife) and Kate is a famous British actress with a husband and five-year-old daughter. This book is very well written and the characters are exceptionally strong, making them easy to love, hate and maybe even relate to.

The characters are so real that you just do not want to let them leave your life. We meet Kate and Callum who had a passionate affair, Kate was young in her early twenties and Callum old and married, he should have known better, was he looking for some excitement in his ‘mid-life’ what was Kate really hoping for? Sadly, for Kate it ended and left her bereft and heartbroken. Callum carried on with his life his secret hidden. 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. Heart-rending, provocative and astutely written, Never Greener is a love story about getting what you want and losing everything you need. Ruth's characters will stay with me for a long time.' Cathy Bramley And the really frustrating thing is that while we follow everyone in narration, that doesn’t actually lead to us learning more about any them. Kate and Callum between them make some pretty radically awful decisions in the spur-of-the-moment, but we only read the action, not the internal reasoning. So one moment Callum is refusing an attempted kiss from Kate, then while she’s on the phone to someone, Callum suddenly has a hand on her leg that’s creeping up her skirt… it’s completely baffling that these moments are communicated in such sparse sentences (actually very similar to the directions of a script?) but never interrogated by the characters themselves, in the moment. It reads very much ‘Slot A into Slot B’.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 For starters –it’s not just Callum and Kate we’re following in this tale. No, there’s Kate’s husband Matt and his best friend Hetty and Callum’s wife Belinda too … And we get *everyone’s* perspective with the omniscient third-person narration. We can even start a chapter following one person’s interiority, but when they make a phone-call to someone else, we’ll then get that person’s side of things too. It’s baffling that these basic fiction foibles weren’t edited and corrected, because they are confusing and quite clearly a TV-writing holdover (especially from Jones’ ensemble-cast writing) that she needed to be rid of.

Non ammetto il tradimento in nessuna occasione, specialmente quando a subirne le conseguenze sono persone innocenti, come Belinda, la moglie di Callum, che ammetto di aver amato come personaggio e ho compreso a malincuore molte sue scelte. I have to admit that Kate's husband Matt and his old friend Hetty were by far my favourite characters and I hurt when Matt hurt and I wanted to cry when he cried. I loved Hetty for her absolute loyalty to him and was desperately sad when even their relationship when awry for a while. Now, I wondered if I was just being really harsh on this book – because my hopes were up? But then I read this Guardian books review, and I was relieved to find someone else who had the same frustrations; “Jones may have a good novel in her, but even her spark can’t set this soggy material alight.” Ouch. But – accurate. This one blew so hot and cold for me. One minute you love the flawed messed up characters the next you hate them. What they are doing to each other what they are doing to themselves. They are all in the end of believable and unbelievable at the same time. London and Edinburgh the two main settings one way to win you over. There was too much cheating which nearly made me round down. However something stopped me how human they all are. You do not have to like all details about a person and vice vesra it is written well. Many will have come to love Ruth Jones for her role as Nessa Jenkins in the hit TV comedy Gavin and Stacey and also her other roles she has become so well known for as well as a script writer, but now we can add author the list. Released on 5th April is Ruth Jones’s debut novel Never Greener (Bantam Press).In her unmissable debut, actress and screenwriter Ruth Jones shows us the dangers of trying to recapture that which was once lost and failing to realise the beauty of what we already have. 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. Ruth Jones' writing is so impressive. She captures the everyday lives of her characters, she injects humour and laughter in with the total devastation and sadness, she keeps it incredibly real and believable.

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