Never Greener by Ruth Jones review – Gavin & Stacey co-creator’s debut is a soggy squib

Jones’s first novel, about the destructive effects of a love affair, is a far cry from the brilliance of her TV writing

How long does it take to become a national treasure? It’s not a label bestowed lightly, but Ruth Jones is well on her way to earning it, thanks to her much-loved TV projects, Gavin & Stacey and Stella, which mixed drama and comedy to heartwarming effect. Her screen work has that elusive quality of the top-notch writer, a “voice” that wins you over instantly.

So it’s disappointing to open her debut novel and find that voice subdued to the point of absence. Can this flavourless work really have come from the same writer who gave us the outrageously quirky Nessa? “It’s a different way of writing,” Jones said of her novel last year, “because you go inside people’s heads.” And indeed, she seems to have treated ...