Normal People

by Sally Rooney · read April 26, 2022

Review

3rd read (26/04/2022): I finally own a copy of this book and read it again instead of the three other books I'm halfway through. I had forgotten how contained and repressed, ruinous and shattering all of the emotions in this novel are. Finishing this book is like emerging from underwater and feeling the sun on my face, where my inner self interacts with the world and I use my words to express my feelings.

How strange to feel herself so completely under the control of another person, but also how ordinary.

2nd read (24/07/2019): Reread it because I liked it so much and because I was in Ireland. It was actually better the second time around since I focused more on the details. I especially noticed and enjoyed Rooney's descriptions of college and college conversations.

In just a few weeks' time Marianne will live with different people, and life will be different. But she herself will not be different. She'll be the same person, trapped inside her own body. There's nowhere she can go that would free her from this.

1st read (25/06/2019): I really loved this novel — I have a soft spot for romances with alternating perspectives, especially when characters are bad at communication, and I liked the way that Marianne and Connell's circumstances keep changing but their roles in each other's lives always seem congruous with what they're experiencing. I also liked the detail oriented but somewhat disconnected writing style; it's not for everyone but I'm partial to it.

Julia Cooke © 2022