Ruth Jones came to my rescue with her second novel, Us Three. I’ve found myself unable to read due to the pandemic and the scary, unknowable situation we now find ourselves in – anxiety shatters my concentration. But I really wanted to loose myself in a book, so (digitally) picked up Us Three and was delighted when I found myself engaging and finishing it.
Opening sentence: The shoes were a big mistake.
I had previously read and really enjoyed Ruth Jones’ debut novel, Never Greener and the tone of her second book is very similar. There’s a focus on the nuances of relationships and friendships in a small-town setting. The overall effect is cosy and comforting, even when a drama is playing out in the story (and there were a few dramas through the story). Exactly what I needed from a book at the moment.
So who are the three?
Us Three tells the tale of Lana Lloyd, Judith Harris and Catrin Kelly – friends since school, they have known each other their whole lives and were always an inseparable trio. The summer before they go their separate ways to university, they take a girls’ trip to Greece, where things happen that change the course of their lives.
‘To us three!’ she exclaimed when the drinks arrived, and they clinked their glasses in a toast.
Told across three points in time (when the characters are 12, 37 and 52 years old) we get to see how their friendship develops and how they all cope with love, loss and the multitude of events life throws at them.
It was so enjoyable to spend time in the company of these ladies and not think about the pandemic for a few hours! I loved the Welsh colloquialisms too, and the way Ruth Jones writes so you can hear the accent coming through, it really makes the characters feel rounded and real.