FROM THE AUTHOR OF NORMAL PEOPLE
** NOW ON BBC THREE AND IPLAYER **
WINNER OF THE SUNDAY TIMES / PFD YOUNG WRITER OF THE YEAR
SHORTLISTED FOR THE DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE 2018
SHORTLISTED FOR THE KERRY GROUP IRISH NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2018
SHORTLISTED FOR THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE 2018
LONGLISTED FOR THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2018
A SUNDAY TIMES, OBSERVER AND TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEAR
Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed and observant. A student in Dublin and an aspiring writer, at night she performs spoken word with her best friend Bobbi, who used to be her girlfriend. When they are interviewed and then befriended by Melissa, a well-known journalist who is married to Nick, an actor, they enter a world of beautiful houses, raucous dinner parties and holidays in Provence, beginning a complex ménage-à-quatre. But when Frances and Nick get unexpectedly closer, the sharply witty and emotion-averse Frances is forced to honestly confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Critics love this book. We love this book. We’re incredibly confident you’ll love this book. It’s one of those very rare debut novels: supremely confident without being showy, masterfully paced and full of delicious characters that feel like old friends (or enemies) by its conclusion. Frances is a detached, self-possessed student who performs spoken word poetry with best pal (and ex-school girlfriend) Bobbi. Suddenly plunged into Dublin’s literary scene, they become entangled with society couple Melissa—a thrill-seeking journalist—and her laconic actor husband Nick. The quartet’s wonderfully complex, intertwining dynamic becomes very dramatic very quickly and helps create a devilishly easy-to-devour study in human relationships.
In this searing, insightful debut, Rooney offers an unapologetic perspective on the vagaries of relationships. When Frances and Bobbi, former lovers and college students who perform Frances's poetry together, meet Melissa, a famed photographer who wants to do a story about them, the two young women's lives are transformed. Bobbi, the more outgoing and social of the two, has a crush on Melissa; Frances, ever the enigmatic intellectual, is intrigued by Nick, Melissa's glamorous actor husband. From Frances's point of view, readers experience the exhilarating and devastating emotional roller coaster of love, not only in the trajectory of her developing relationship with Nick but also in the layered, complicated relationship between her and Bobbi, as they traverse the rocky road from lovers to friends and back again and transition to the world of adulthood. Rooney lets readers glimpse the rich interior of Frances's life capturing the tension and excitement of her attraction to Nick, how she justifies her feelings and treatment of the people around her, and how she is shaped by the separation of her understanding mother and her alcoholic father. Here, too, is a treatise on married life, the impact of infidelity, the ramifications of one's actions, and how the person one chooses to be with can impact one's individuality. Throughout, Rooney's descriptive eye lends beauty and veracity to this complex and vivid story.
Rooney’s first book is an interesting look at human relationships
Sally Rooney’s 2017 debut novel is an interesting book about the intricacies of human relationships.
She has repeated many similar themes in her subsequent books, for example Normal People and Beautiful World, Where Are You.
In the acknowledgements she states she took the inspiration for the work from talking to her own friends, and in particular Kate Oliver and Aoife Comey. Rooney has obviously drawn much from her own experiences while writing this. It is about college students in Dublin where Rooney also went to University.
The book is written from the perspective of the lead character, Frances Flynn, who is the narrator.
Rooney is very good at writing the dialogue between her characters in her books. They feel very natural and believable.
Frances writes in a text to her best friend and ex-girlfriend Bobbi that she is “not very emotional.” However, I would disagree with this. Frances may not show her emotions to her friends, but underneath the surface I believe she feels different events very deeply. I feel there is more to her than Bobbi, who, although is probably less naïve, could be described as superficial.
Throughout the book, Frances is thrown some difficult life situations to deal with, and they have an impact on her relationships. For Frances life is tricky and she has more to deal with than Bobbi.
Although I didn’t know how much sympathy to have with Frances for some of the choices she makes in her relationships. One of the routes she takes would probably always prove to be difficult.
An interesting read, but Rooney’s next work Normal People has a better pace.
A very easy but thoroughly engaging read!
I wasn’t too keen on the Normal People but this one sucked me right in and couldn’t really put it down.