Ruth Jones, “Never Greener”

Welsh actress and writer Ruth Jones debut novel Never Greener is about an affair between a television actress Kate with a school teacher, Callum, seventeen years older to her. They first meet when Kate is nineteen in the mid-80s’ and then nearly two decades later. Result of their cheating on their spouses is the inevitable fallout of their respective marriages breaking up. Chiklit with a traditional plot. Mills & Boon plot for a modern reader with a supposedly pacy plot punctuated at regular intervals with sex scenes between Kate and Callum. Prior to this Jones’ writing credits include co-writing TV hit “Gavin and Stacey”, in which she also co-starred as “Nessa” alongside James Corden. She has also acted in BBC dramas “Tess of the D’Urbervilles”, “Little Dorrit” and “Hattie”, playing Hattie Jacques.

Despite this manuscript having been in a fierce 10-publisher auction in 2016 eventually won by Transworld for a two-book deal, this debut novel is rightly termed by the Guardian as a “soggy squib“. Although popular writer Jojo Moyes endorsed the book saying ‘Ruth Jones is excellent on human nature and why we make the mistakes we do. I felt for every character. Unputdownable.’ Having said that Never Greener by Ruth Jones reached number 1 in the UK adult fiction chart within days of its 5 April 2018 release.

Never Greener is fine as an airport novel and will probably be adapted for film or television fairly soon given that it has all the elements of a soap opera and most definitely features of what is deemed as “adult entertainment” on cable television. This book will soon be sold for adaptation if it has not already been done so.

Ruth Jones Never Greener Transworld Publishers, Bantam Press, Penguin Random House UK, London, 2018. Pb. pp. 416 Rs 599 

19 April 2018 

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