Review: Normal People by Sally Rooney (Spoiler-Free)
4.5 stars Her eyes fill up with tears again and she closes them. Even in memory she will find this moment unbearably intense, and she's aware of this now, while it's happening. She has never believed herself fit to be loved by any person. But now she has a new life, of which this is the first moment, and even after many years have passed she will still think: Yes, that was it, the beginning of my life. This book will truly take you on a journey. Its mere 273 pages somehow feel like a lifetime. Sally Rooney is able to inject reality into her words, extracting hyper-specificity from her surroundings. And yet, it doesn't feel tedious. This is the story of two very broken, yet normal people. Although they don't know it. You'll be screaming at the pages, just talk to each other! but real life isn't so simple, is it? Both Connell and Marriane, our two protagonists, are fascinating. I found myself relating to both and neither of them. They both have faults, laid out with the utmost brutal honesty. They both face problems they recognize but have no idea how to combat. - She believes Marianne lacks ‘warmth’, by which she means the ability to beg for love from people who hate her. - He often makes blithe remarks about things he 'wishes'. I wish you didn't have to go, he says when she's leaving, or: I wish you could stay the night. If he really wished any of those things, Marianne knows, then they would happen. Connell always gets what he wants, and then feels sorry for himself when what he wants doesn't make him happy. Rooney is able to voice thoughts most people never want brought to light, and these thoughts form an utterly compelling novel. Marianne, he said, I'm not a religious person but I do sometimes think God made you for me.