Today, I am back with another review of a book that I completely adored reading the past couple of days from one of my favourite writers: Ruth Jones with her new bestselling novel, Us Three.
I love Ruth Jones and her writing and I am so excited that she has a new novel published with Us Three. I loved it. But first… what is it about? Here is the synopsis:
Friends forever is a difficult promise to keep…
Meet Lana, Judith and Catrin. Best friends since primary school when they swore an oath on a Curly Wurly wrapper that they would always be there for each other, come what may.
After the trip of a lifetime, the three girls are closer than ever. But an unexpected turn of events shakes the foundation of their friendship to its core, leaving their future in doubt – there’s simply too much to forgive, let alone forget. An innocent childhood promise they once made now seems impossible to keep . . .
Packed with all the heart and empathy that made Ruth’s name as a screenwriter and now author, Us Three is a funny, moving and uplifting novel about life’s complications, the power of friendship and how it defines us all.
I really loved Ruth’s first novel, Never Greener and I was so excited to see her publishing a second novel so of course I had to pre-order a signed copy straight away! The thing with Ruth Jones’ writing is that it is so hard to put the book back down as I am just too engrossed into reading it. Growing up, Ruth Jones was a writer that I admired and I still do. Her writing, in her first novel, but also this one, is just brilliant. It has this layer of confidence, of sharpness and she has a wonderful ear for character and dialogue, just like her TV shows.
I love how rooted in character both of her novels are. She is just that kind of writer – getting into the heads of her characters and exploring a myriad of different themes and ideas along the way. The characters, all of them, even characters who have one line, are fully formed and sing from the page. They are characters that you know, perhaps are, perhaps they are characters in your own family. You know them and so does Ruth Jones. The main trio of characters: Catrin, Lana and Judith are such brilliant characters and we see them as teenagers and watch them grow up but will their friendship stand the test of time?
Being Welsh myself, there were so many little details that I loved in this book, too many too mention. Something that I wanted more of in the first novel was more Welsh-ness, if that makes sense. Perhaps it would be too on the nose for her first novel but I loved being in a small Welsh town with these characters in this novel, it reminded me of home. I also loved the Welsh accent throughout the novel, too. Bloody lush.
There are a lot of themes that Ruth Jones threads throughout the novel, from grief, deceit, secrets, heartbreak, love, family, and so much more. But she does this with a human touch, in using humour, which is something I really loved as I think it is just the Welsh sense of humour, of getting through tough times with laughter. But it’s also a touching, tender, hopeful and uplifting read that made me smile throughout reading it. And, of course, it’s incredibly funny, too. There is one scene where Catrin’s father is telling her she has to wear a money belt all the time when she goes on holiday with her friends and it reminded me of Uncle Bryn in Gavin & Stacey where he tells her about the rape alarm. There are a lot of funny moments throughout the novel along with a few twists and turns that being so immersed into this novel, I didn’t see coming.
Overall, I completely adored this novel and these cast of characters. They felt incredibly real straight away and I loved watching the touching friendship of these three women over the course of three decades. It’s emotional, funny, hopeful, incredibly Welsh, but also life-affirming. Already a best-seller and well deserved. This, to me, is a testament of how brilliant and talented Ruth Jones is a writer. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
Have you read Us Three? Let me know in the comments!