I loved Ruth Jones in Gavin and Stacey and Little Britain, so when I saw she had penned a novel, I immediately pre-ordered it. Had I waited for a bit more information on the plot, I’m not quite sure I would have been as super keen. Not to say that this novel isn't well written and entertaining, it certainly delivers on both fronts. Rather, it just lacks the level of humour that I had presupposed it would contain.
So before I dissuade you from reading a copy, let me guide you through the positives. The characters are well rounded individuals, full of flaws and somewhat morally ambiguous. That is to say, they come across as real, human, individuals and that is to be applauded. There are aspects here which sit uncomfortably, especially the infidelity aspects, and particularly with the added complications of children and unplanned pregnancies. Yet life is full of unpleasantness and the novel does provide an interesting format to challenge presumptions about such circumstances.
Despite, or perhaps because of their flaws, I found I could relate to aspects of all of the characters. It was almost impossible to not experience some form of empathetic response to the messed up circumstances they all undergo. Life is not black and white and Jones delivers an intriguing palette of greys.
Did I also mention I finished this in a day, it is one heck of a quick, easy read and that is also a sign of a talented writer.
4 out of 5 - turns out being a successful, beautiful actress isn't necessarily all its cracked up to be.
4 out of 5