“[A] cult-hit . . . [a] sharply realistic comedy of adultery and friendship.”—Entertainment Weekly
SALLY ROONEY NAMED TO THE 2019 TIME 100 NEXT LIST • WINNER OF THE SUNDAY TIMES (UK) YOUNG WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD • ONE OF BUZZFEED’S BEST BOOKS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY VOGUE AND SLATE AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUZZFEED AND ELLE
Frances is a coolheaded and darkly observant young woman, vaguely pursuing a career in writing while studying in Dublin. Her best friend is the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi. At a local poetry performance one night, they meet a well-known photographer, and as the girls are then gradually drawn into her world, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman’s sophisticated home and handsome husband, Nick. But however amusing Frances and Nick’s flirtation seems at first, it begins to give way to a strange—and then painful—intimacy.
Written with gemlike precision and marked by a sly sense of humor, Conversations with Friends is wonderfully alive to the pleasures and dangers of youth, and the messy edges of female friendship.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD
“Sharp, funny, thought-provoking . . . a really great portrait of two young women as they’re figuring out how to be adults.”—Celeste Ng, “Late Night with Seth Meyers Podcast”
“The dialogue is superb, as are the insights about communicating in the age of electronic devices. Rooney has a magical ability to write scenes of such verisimilitude that even when little happens they’re suspenseful.”—Curtis Sittenfeld, The Week
“Rooney has the gift of imbuing everyday life with a sense of high stakes . . . a novel of delicious frictions.”—New York
“A writer of rare confidence, with a lucid, exacting style . . . One wonderful aspect of Rooney’s consistently wonderful novel is the fierce clarity with which she examines the self-delusion that so often festers alongside presumed self-knowledge. . . . But Rooney’s natural power is as a psychological portraitist. She is acute and sophisticated about the workings of innocence; the protagonist of this novel about growing up has no idea just how much of it she has left to do.”—Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker
“This book. This book. I read it in one day. I hear I’m not alone.”—Sarah Jessica Parker (Instagram)
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Critics love this book. We love this book. And we’re 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 characters that feel like old friends or frenemies. Frances is a detached, self-possessed student who performs spoken-word poetry with her best friend (and ex) Bobbi. Plunged into Dublin’s literary scene, the two young women become entangled with thrill-seeking journalist Melissa, and Nick, her laconic actor husband. The quartet’s wonderfully complex dynamic becomes very dramatic very quickly. Conversations with Friends is a devilish and 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.
I enjoyed this book. I was just a bit underwhelmed at the ending but not enough so that I would call it a disappointment. I recommend!
I think a part of me placed this book on a higher pedestal. I am not a fan of reading an indulging in topics regarding cheating and lies, I thought the book would give a great ending but it seems as though its a repeat cycle. Took me a while to finish this book.
Plus side was it was a light read whenever I got to reading it and I like the lesson put that “you don’t have to label yourself as anything if you don’t identify as that thing” Would I recommend this? Its a hit or miss, a miss for me.
This book will bring out the worst and the best in you in the greatest possible way. Truly amazing.