'Beautiful World, Where Are You is Rooney's best novel.' THE TIMES
*The Sunday Times and Global number one bestseller*
*Winner of Novel of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards*
Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he'd like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend Eileen is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood.
Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon are still young - but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They worry about sex and friendship and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?
'A tour de force. The dialogue never falters, and the prose burns up the page.'
'Rooney's strongest writing thus far . . . There is a touching honesty and truthfulness in these pages, along with a quiet brilliance.'
'The book moved me to tears more than once . . . Rooney's best novel.'
'Rooney's best novel yet. Funny and smart, full of sex and love and people doing their best to connect.'
Brandon Taylor, NEW YORK TIMES
'Written with immense skill and illuminated by an endlessly incisive intelligence.'
'Beautiful World, Where Are You is not just worth reading. It's worth thinking about.'
'Brilliantly done: gripping, steamy, unbearably sad.'
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It’s hard to say what fascinates the wildly popular Irish author Sally Rooney more: young love or the doomsday vibes of the 21st century. Her third novel explores both themes with aplomb, following two friends on the brink of turning 30. Alice, a famous writer, moves to western Ireland to recuperate from a mental breakdown, leaving her bestie, Eileen, alone in Dublin to handle a dead-end job and the fallout of a breakup. In a series of email exchanges, the women detail their tumultuous love affairs and share heady musings on religion, nationalism and their relationship with a society seemingly hell-bent on destruction. “When we should have been reorganising the distribution of the world’s resources...we were worrying about sex and friendship instead,” Eileen writes. This conflict of priorities sums up a Rooney novel. With Beautiful World, Where Are You, she exquisitely captures the feeling of living in the shadow of an uncertain future while trying to appreciate the grace of our intimate relationships.
Rooney (Normal People) continues her exploration of class, sex, and mental health with a cool, captivating story about a successful Irish writer, her friend, and their lovers. Alice Kelleher, 29, has suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of her work's popularity. After moving from Dublin to a small seaside town, she meets Felix, a local with a similar background they both grew up working-class, and both have absent fathers who works in a shipping warehouse. She invites him to accompany her to Rome, where he falls in love with her but resents what he takes to be her superior attitude. Meanwhile, in Dublin, Alice's university friend Eileen Lydon works a low-paying literary job and explores her attraction to a childhood friend who seems to return her feelings but continues seeing other women. Alice and Eileen update each other in long emails, which Rooney cleverly exploits for essayistic musings about culture, climate change, and political upheaval. Rooney establishes a distance from her characters' inner lives, creating a sense of privacy even as she describes Alice and Eileen's most intimate moments. It's a bold change to her style, and it makes the illuminations all the more powerful when they pop. As always, Rooney challenges and inspires.
An interesting read
I enjoyed this book and I really do love the way it’s written.
Poignant, moving, annoying, real - a story about others, yet all about us. Couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend.
Lots of 20 something angst
A book for and about young people trying to ‘find’ themselves