by Ruth Jones
Anyone who has seen Ruth Jones’ TV work on Stella and Gavin & Stacy will already be aware of her gentle but sharp observational comedy. She has a way of capturing the humour in everyday situations with her clever use of language and her eye for detail.
In Us Three she does this in spades. It is a touching story of three girl’s lifetime bond, sometimes stretched but never completely broken. Lana, Catrina and Judith are very different girls from diverse backgrounds, but they become the closest of friends through shared experiences and a bond that goes beyond the obvious. They support each other through family tragedies and the angst and turmoil of adolescence. They are inseparable, or so it seems.
Throughout their childhood, they have never been apart. Then comes university and things begin to change. There are new friendships and relationships that challenge the status quo. Their love for each other remains, but cracks begin to show.
For me, this is one of those books I couldn’t put down once I had started it. As Larna, Cat and Judith face love and heartbreak together I felt envious of their relationship with each other. One of the things I like about Ruth’s work is that she doesn’t sugarcoat things. The highs and lows of the three friends are realistic. Friendships are not always easy to maintain. Sometimes it takes work. And betrayal, whether it is real or imagined, hurts all the more because of it.
It is an endearing story that examines the strengths and weaknesses of female friendship. It is warm, uplifting and brutally honest. This could be the story of any group of young women anywhere, but as always, Ruth Jone writes about the people she knows best – the Welsh. You can almost hear the comforting Welsh lilt in the dialogue.
A great book.