April Book Club Pick: Normal People by Sally Rooney

This is the first post I’ve written since the COVID-19 outbreak. Like many others, I have been adjusting to the new normal. We find ourselves in unprecedented times and as we try to navigate what that means, we need to find ways of keeping busy, focusing on the positives and most importantly, having fun! As you know, I absolutely love reading as a form of escapism and relaxation so it’s great to be able to share my recommendations with you all. 

So, I’m excited to share April’s book club pick with you all, the amazing Normal People by Sally Rooney.

Sally Rooney

First, a little bit about the author. Sally is an Irish author who launched her debut novel, Conversations with Friends, in 2017 followed by Normal People in 2018. She graduated from an MA at Trinity College in 2013 and resides in Dublin.

At just age 28, Sally Rooney has become a well-known name in the literary world with celebrities and readers from all over, praising her work. You’ll find her novels topping The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller List as well as being longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, among others which is an outstanding achievement! What’s more, Normal People is set to become a TV series and will be released on BBC Three in the UK at the end of this month. I can’t wait to see how they bring this to life on the screen!

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People follows the lives of two young Irish teenagers, Connell and Marianne over four years. They have grown up in the same small town but have very different upbringings. Connell is part of the popular group at school, while Marianne has no friends and keeps herself to herself. You wouldn’t have put the two together however when they cross paths, the unexpected happens. 

This is a romantic love story where Connell and Marianne try to navigate the highs and lows of a relationship whilst battling their own personal demons and everything that comes with growing up and moving away to university. 

In this new chapter of their lives, the roles are reversed and Marianne appears to be the popular one with lots of friends where Connell is struggling. As much as they might want to, they can’t stay apart and their mutual fascination keeps them coming back to each other, even when they have pursued other relationships.

She has never believed herself fit to be loved by any person. But now she has a new life, of which this is the first moment.

What makes this book so captivating is the way that Rooney develops the characters and dialogue throughout. Often books only tackle one person’s point of view but the way this book is written, it feels like you’re having conversations with both characters and getting both sides of the story which I loved. 

Hailed as ‘the best young novelist’ and ‘a major young writer in the English-speaking world’ Rooney has set the bar high for herself and other writers alike. If you haven’t read this book then I highly recommend finding some time to get stuck in!

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