Normal People by Sally Rooney - Book Review

Normal People

Normal People by Sally Rooney - Book Review

As a work of literary fiction became a certified contemporary classic shortly after its release in 2018.

By the time it made its way stateside, the novel has been heralded for its austere yet emotionally penetrating prose, and for perfectly capturing a romance between two very different people through the prism of Millennial infused politics and class struggles.

The bestseller tells the story of Connell and Marianne, two young people from opposite sides of the tracks. Connell, a well-liked and outgoing athlete, feels something undefinable pulling him to Marianne, a rich, intelligent, and socially awkward student who attends the same school but lives the existence of an outcast.

Connell’s mother works as a housekeeper at Marianne’s home, and yet they both pretend not to know one another outside the confines of the super lux mansion.

True love and a sense of stability seem to elude them as they grow older but remain unable to break the confines of their particular upbringing - nevertheless, they remain close and connected on a deep, almost cosmic level, even as they graduate high school and eventually start their year together at Trinity College in Dublin. 

The plotting of Normal People is subtle, like everything else that makes it special. While it accurately captures the emotional underpinnings of two young people in love but unwilling to break the binds of their traumas and actually admit it, it’s not as though anything of massive import happens.

At the same time, readers follow two seemingly very different individuals who grow up and come to a sort of understanding of the world around them, and eventually, find solace in one another. More action-packed novels accomplish even less within their pages.

What makes the novel all the more outstanding is that the politics of our day and age are always boiling over in the background. The author is never pedantic in her thoughts and the ways in which she captures modern-day Ireland, but she ensures that the reader is always keenly aware of the world that produced such finely drawn and complicated characters as Connell and Marianne.

Book Details

Title: Normal People
Format: Paperback
Author: Sally Rooney
Language : English
Publisher : Hogarth
ISBN: 1984822187

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Updated 3 years ago