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Never Greener: the number one bestselling novel from the co-creator of GAVIN & STACEY Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B01DOE2VN2
- Publisher : Transworld Digital (April 5, 2018)
- Publication date : April 5, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 1824 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 388 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #57,937 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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I found the characters of Matt and Belinda imminently likable and I felt a little broken for how they were treated by their spouses. I genuinely enjoyed Hetty's story arc and her character was well described although her obsession with her university 'squeeze' was difficult to stomach. Thankfully she sees the light before the end of the book.
For Callum there is so much there that makes you want to shake him and tell him to stop being an idiot. In the end I suspect he got better than he deserved. I felt his character was probably the least developed.
As for Kate, well she feels extremely superficial and I struggled to have any sympathy for her. I think the interesting part of her journey likely happens between the end of the book and the epilogue so of course we never see it.
I enjoyed Jones' writing style, her TV and film work is evident in the way that the story travels and is visually described. The characters stayed with me after the end of the book but perhaps this was because I wanted to know more about them and understand their motivations better.
Top reviews from other countries
To top it off I found an error - referred to Matt when should have been Callum. A pet hate for me.
Disappointing from the off, only worth reading if you've read all the other books there are and you've got nothing else to do.
There were so many issues that were vaguely touched on but never answered or properly dealt with. Matt enjoying sex with another man - we only find out years later that it wasn't just a one off, for the want of a better phrase. OK, but just dropping that into the story without any explanation or follow up? The guy turns up years later, another predictably vile character, but we are asked to believe that one of the other daft but at least slightly more likeable side characters (Hetty) is still 'in love' with him after not even seeing him for 14 years. So is he gay, bisexual or what - and do we care (no) because at times it reads like an agony story from a teenage comic.
Ditto Kate's eating disorder, (it's never really clear if she has one or not), depression, drinking, neediness. extreme selfishness and anger issues - to name but a few - these are not lightweight problems, but they were just kind of dropped into the narrative on and off. I couldn't decide if they should have been written about in greater depth (more misery), or at least in the case of the eating disorder and depression not been part of the story at all. These issues are too serious and life altering in reality, to be just lightly touched on as a minor aside. Late in the book we find she has been to AA - but there is nothing told of the real life misery and descent into alcoholism. Not that we need any more misery or a longer book, but then why make her drinking a part of the story unless it is believable, when it appears that she goes from liking a few glasses to needing AA with nothing in between.
Having a character with numerous serious issues needs proper research to sound believable - here it is just too shallow and simplistic. If you really want eating disorders, alcoholism, depression etc to play a part in the story, at least deal with them properly. I couldn't tell if this book was trying to be serious or a lightweight read - it seemed to veer from one extreme to the other and wasn't successful in either. And how come the young child in the story appeared completely unaffected by any of the chaos? Apparently Kate was the perfect mother despite her problems, Matt was the perfect father, and later Callum was the perfect stand in father figure. Again, lazy and shallow and hard to believe, and thus hard to care.
I laughed just once - when somebody told somebody else that they had a head that felt like a potato, (I forget why now). Even that wasn't believable because said head was bristly, which I have never seen or felt in a potato.
What else? Oh, the sex scenes. I have no objection to well written even erotic sex scenes that sit believably in the story (Diana Gabaldon 'Outlander', Marian Keyes 'The Break'). But oh dear. I have never read so many instances of a man 'feeling himself harden', and 'remembering how it felt to be inside her' as in this book. (Sorry if this offends). Please, stop it already, it's cringeworthy and embarrassing. Part of the main drive of the book was how unbridled and compelling sexual attraction for the 'wrong' person can ruin lives, so the sex has to be at least believable, not full of silken thighs, silken lingerie and Mills and Boonish fantasies.
I hate to slate Ruth Jones because she is a hugely talented actress and scriptwriter. Nessa is one of my all time heroines. I hope she gets a more disciplined editor and can do better next time.
Never Greener is an emotionally charged drama about two people swept up in an adulterous affair. A familiar theme, one might think; the subject of a million novels. But this one rises well above the ordinary, featuring a rawness that cuts very close to the bone. It is richly textured, honest, and palpably real; utterly and breathtakingly addictive. It has teeth, and it bites big time.
When Callum and Kate meet again 17 years after their first, brief, torrid affair, it is all too easy to pick up where they left off. Time has moved on, but their lust for each other is as visceral as ever. Kate is the stalker, Callum the prey, and there is nothing he can do to escape her clutches. As their affair escalates, it becomes all-consuming, obliterating everything — family, friends, work — except for the illicit thrill of their attraction.
Don’t get me wrong: this is not a bodice-ripper with page after page of steamy sex. Jones is far too sophisticated for that. Her focus is very much on the emotional rather than the physical, on the feelings that drive the behaviour of her characters. And the story is all the more powerful because of it.
The narrative also benefits from an intriguing little sub-plot involving Kate’s long-suffering, angst-ridden husband, Matt, who has his own demons and secrets. Although this has its own momentum, it is beautifully woven into the main storyline, adding an extra dynamic that complements rather than detracts.
As for characterization: as a screenwriter and actress, this is something you expect Jones to excel at. And she does. There are no one-dimensional stereotypes here. The people who populate Jones’ novel are bold, complex and undeniably human. They elicit fondness and loathing, frustration and empathy, anger and humour, and they suck you into their chaotic, messy lives like a turbo-charged Hoover.
I honestly couldn’t turn the pages of this book fast enough. It possessed me from start to finish, and I love that Jones chose not to deliver a twee, nicely packaged ending. The message, after all, is in the title. What an incredibly accomplished debut novel — I, for one, can’t wait to read what she produces next.
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I never really felt like I got to know any of the characters except in the most superficial of ways. Whilst this worked well for Kate - whose profession necessarily makes her someone you will never truly know (that's my big worry about anyone who is an actor - how much of what you see is actually real? They make their living out of being convincing deceivers after all). It is much less effective for Callum, Belinda, Matt and Hetty. In fact, Hetty is a relatively minor character trapped in Matt's orbit and we perhaps know the most about her.
I did find the whole book rather misery inducing to be honest. People lieing to each other, justifying their lies to themselves and just generally behaving badly. Callum in particular annoyed me and Belinda didn't exactly inspire me sympathy to be honest. It was just all so much doom, gloom and heartbreaking. Whilst I'm not averse to a depressing read or a read about the worst in people's characters this book just left me feeling somehow grubby and like I shouldn't have looked in on the character's lives.
To be fair, this does mean that Ms Jones managed to elicit feeling from me through her writing. Maybe it isn't the feeling she set out to create but it was there so job done. The narrative does flow well on the page and the author's voice doesn't overpower the tale. Just a shame the characters are so intangible.