Book Reviews

Book Review: Normal People – Sally Rooney

Iphone showing cover of Normal People by Sally Rune

Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life changing begins.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

Normal People is the story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find that they can’t.

“She closes her eyes. He probably won’t come back, she thinks. Or he will, differently. What they have now they can never have back again. But for her the pain of loneliness will be nothing to the pain that she used to feel, of being unworthy. He brought her goodness like a gift and now it belongs to her. Meanwhile his life opens out before him in all directions at once. They’ve done a lot of good for each other. Really, she thinks, really. People can really change one another.

You should go, she says. I’ll always be here. You know that.”

Sally Rune

Normal People by Sally Rooney is the first book I read with my book club and though it was a little confusing, I most definitely loved it!

Connell and Marianne go through so many experiences together even though they both denied their feelings for one another time after time. In my opinion, this novel was pretty realistic. Relationships take time to settle, especially when you’re fresh out of high school.

We get to relive that moment of thinking you have the world in your hands and you have something to prove. The story concentrated on them building themselves as individuals rather than as a couple. The author kind of prepares them to be finally together over time.

However, even though they avoid their feelings, they’re always drawn to one another. For some reason, they ask each other for help when they need it. They also respect their opinions. Destiny kind of makes sure that they always have a place to land on, when they’re falling.

They do fall separately many times, and one of them is always there to hold them. I’m going to warn you that the end is a little inconclusive. But that’s life, isn’t it? You might think you found the love of your life only to notice 30 years later that they’re not who you thought they were. And you could also spend the rest of your life pursuing an ideal form of love that doesn’t precisely exist.

That’s my favorite aspect of this story. I’ve been in a long term relationship since I was 15 years old with the same guy. So far, I believe he’s the best thing that might’ve happened to me. May that change years from now? I don’t know, but I’m willing to take the risk. I personally believe that’s the message the author is trying to convey. Love is not black and white and it takes work to formalize. Even if it finally formalizes, it requires sacrifice.

You should totally check out this video where the author talks about the book!

I’m also super excited to know there’s going to be a show! I’ll leave the trailer here, so you guys can check it out!

Processing…
Success! You’re on the list.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.