Beautiful World, Where Are You

by Sally Rooney · read September 21, 2021


Rooney's novels feel like answers to questions I didn't know that I had. What I loved most about this novel was its depiction of the vulnerability that comes with knowing and loving other people deeply; a timely reminder that relationships can only be amazing when accompanied by the terrifying kind of honesty. I also loved the richness of the group dynamic and Felix's insistence on shaking things up. I wish that Simon had more of a presence in the story, but the moment between him and Eileen at Lola's wedding nearly made up for it.

What if the meaning of life on earth is not eternal progress toward some unspecified goal — the engineering and production of more and more powerful technologies, the development of more and more complex and abstruse cultural forms? What if these things just rise and recede naturally, like tides, while the meaning of life remains the same always — just to live and be with other people?

Julia Cooke © 2024