Normal People by Sally Rooney
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Marianne is the young, affluent, intellectual wallflower; Connell is the boy everyone likes, shadowed by his family’s reputation and poverty. Unlikely friends, and later lovers, their small town beginnings in rural Ireland are swiftly eclipsed by the heady worlds of student Dublin. Gradually their intense, mismatched love becomes a battleground of power, class, and the falsehoods they choose to believe.
Normal People is a tale of deceptive simplicity, a very accessible narrative of two seemingly mismatched young people who share a profound, inescapable understanding. Beyond that however is something properly universal, a study of how one person can forever shape and impact another. Marianne and Connell emerge almost shockingly real and deeply vulnerable in their different ways.
Sally Rooney has evolved into perhaps the most nuanced contemporary observer we have. Brimming with longing, regret and intimacy, Normal People is everything, as a culture, we need from our fiction. It is a story that is absolutely universal to us all, and it is brilliant.
'Brings to mind everything from D.H. Lawrence to to Jane Austen. This will be a 21st-century classic.' - The Observer
‘Rooney... has undoubtedly delivered one of the best novels of the year’ - The Express
'Generous, expansive and explicit… unashamedly romantic, but in the most rapturously contemporary sense.' - The Observer
‘Rooney, who has a superb eye for the finer details of human relationships, has undoubtedly delivered one of the best novels of the year’ - The Express
Our favourite quote: 'Marianne had the sense that her real life was happening somewhere very far away, happening without her, and she didn't know if she would ever find out where it was or become part of it.'
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