Why Never Greener is the perfect read for your next mini break

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Susan Devaney
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Join us (and The Zoe Ball Book Club) as we tackle the 10 best books of summer 2018…

If you’re on the hunt for a good read that you can get stuck into on your next mini break then we’ve got you covered, as Stylist has teamed up with The Zoe Ball Book Club (part of the Sunday edition of her weekend show Zoe Ball on Saturday and Zoe Ball on Sunday) in a bid to track down the best books of summer 2018.

Speaking about the project, Ball says: “I adore reading so I’m beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to bring a book club back to TV. I’m so excited to read all the brilliant titles on our list, and can’t wait to chat about each and every one of them with my wonderful guests and hear what viewers across the country think too – we’ll have a wide range of books that should hopefully encourage everyone to try something new! Thanks to our esteemed panel we can be sure they are splendid reads.”

The reading picks, chosen by Amanda Ross, the guru behind the original Richard & Judy Book Club, and a crack team of book experts, are seriously diverse – and the third one on the list has proven to be a proper page-turner.

Written by Ruth Jones, Never Greener is a thrilling novel about the complexity of life and relationships.

Here’s what Stylist’s resident bookworm, Francesca Brown, had to say about it:

“Since 2012’s Gone Girl, there’s been a spate of thrillers and domestic noirs that have relied on bad things happening to bad people. In all honesty, it’s quite hard-going. While we’re totally down with anti-heroes, reading about them repeatedly can become wearing. Which is why Ruth Jones’ debut novel about love and other disasters is such a breath of fresh air. Her characters are terrible, they hurt people around them, they’re selfish and self-absorbed but they’re also utterly human or to put it another way: fallible.

“In 1985, Callum is a good man. He’s got two sons and another child on the way with a wife he adores when 22-year-old Kate walks into his brother’s pub and all his moral fibre is destroyed in one fail swoop. 

“Jump to 2002, Kate is now a successful television actress who’s married to a kind man called Matt with a daughter. She’s also a mess, struggling with an eating disorder, prescription drug addiction and alcohol issues and a failing relationship… While Callum and Kate haven’t spoken in decades, all it takes is a chance meeting at a school visit to reignite their old desires and disaster ensues.

“There’s never been any real doubt that Ruth Jones can write characters (see Gavin & Stacey and Stella) but the fact she’s jumped genres into novels with such ease and confidence creating such believable people to boot is no mean feat. Read this book and enjoy an expert at work.”

And Stylist’s social media editor, Sarah Lakos, read it in one weekend:

“The story line sounds ‘juicy’ enough to warrant coverage from a celebrity magazine, but what saves the narrative is the richness of Jones’ characters - Kate in particular - and a scarily real depiction of dysfunctional relationships, marriage, infidelity and family life. Essentially, the novel is about the complexity of life and how our present-day choices can set us up to make difficult decisions down the line. We all know too well (and the book’s title nods to this) that the grass isn’t always greener.

“This is the perfect mini break read - with enough happenings, twists and steamy hotel sex to have you turning pages by the pool.”

The Zoe Ball Book Club, in association with Specsavers, from 17 June on Zoe Ball on Sunday for 10 weeks.

Zoe Ball on Saturday and Zoe Ball on Sunday (ZBoS) is on ITV at 8.30am every weekend, or catch-up on ITV Player.

Images: Courtesy of publisher / Instagram