Normal People

Normal People

Book - 2019
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Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years. This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person's life -- a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us -- blazingly -- about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege.
Publisher: Toronto :, Alfred A. Knopf Canada,, 2019
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780735276475
Branch Call Number: FICTION ROO
Characteristics: 273 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

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Sep 08, 2019

Story summarizes itself on p268 "...observe the chemistry between two people who, over the course of several years, apparently could not leave one another alone." From senior months of high school until completing college these 2 young people struggle with who they are - to themselves & each other.

ArapahoeAnnaL Sep 08, 2019

Can love heal childhood trauma? A book of tender, erotic love.

Sep 03, 2019

This is not a plot driven novel.
Otherwise ,It’s just a story of two immature teens who move into
Adulthood with a strong sexual attraction one to the other.
It’s strength lies in their psychological evolution:
Marianne presents as an unlikable character- but she is mostly unliked by herself.
She knows she is disliked, she encourages it and wears it as a kind of protective shroud-
Keeping others at bay from herself and her secrets..which are not revealed until near the end.
Connell who rides in and out of her life plays the rescuer; but he is constantly undone by Marianne’s insecurity and cannot erase her wounds.
Only one of them knows they are not Normal People while the other trys and fails to
Make it so.
Well done and in the company of Clare Messud’s The woman Upstairs,and Tessa Hadley’s
Late in the Day.

Sep 02, 2019

I don't get what all the fuss is about this book. I've lost interest half way through and probably won't finish it. Characters are well written but the plot is tedious.

Millennial writing in a setting that could only work in Ireland. Loraine is the sainted mother who loves both Connell and Marianne. Drinking, youthful promiscuity and classism underpin their lives as they scrabble through adolescence and finally find a solid footing after making all those scary existential choices demanded of them in their college years. Evocative and beautifully written. I look forward to more by this author.

JCLZachC Aug 16, 2019

I really like a lot of things about this novel. I like the unique rhythm the writing creates, how the non-use of quotations in dialogue gives the interactions an intimacy. I like the insightful light shined on the paradoxes of life, like the personal demons' that leave us longing to be normal.

Aug 14, 2019

Normal People is an outside-the-box love story that starts off with two teens and follows them through several of their formative years. Be warned: it is very sexual in nature, so if that makes you uncomfortable this is probably not the book for you. Rooney explores mental health, sexuality, power dynamics, and how those formative years can have lasting effects on the person we become later in life. By providing the reader with different "snapshots" throughout several years, we are able to assess those impacts on a deeper level and see how the characters can continue to grow, yet still be so deeply connected. Overall a good read.

Aug 11, 2019

Really 4.5. stars. Often I really love and admire/appreciate a book, but sometimes this happens: the wannabe in me wishes I had written it. Such is the case here, with this almost-perfect novel. Rooney is an excellent writer of the more spare and restrained school; where she shines is in her characters. This is the story of Marianne and Connell, Irish teenagers whose relationship continually changes and shapes the young adults they become. Rooney's ability to capture the pain, the awkwardness, the confusion, the joy, and the connectedness these characters experience is nothing short of breathtaking. I cared about these flawed people so much, and their experiences often cut me to the core. There were times I was near screaming in frustration as they miscommunicated or misunderstood once again, but that was good: it proved how invested I was. Rooney's insight into these people - as dark as it often was - was remarkable. Something special.

Aug 11, 2019

What a waste of my time. Can't believe anyone could possibly like this book.

Aug 09, 2019

I really liked this book - in fact I had trouble putting it down. Sally Rooney gets inside the head of her young Irish protaganists, who both have serious hang-ups but mature over the course of the book. As an older reader, I appreciated the nuances of the internal and external changes that take place in their lives, and the role that community plays in shaping insecurities and confidence in young people.

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Aug 04, 2019

J_257 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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SPL_HEATHERL Jun 25, 2019

Connell and Marianne attend the same high school in small town, present day
Ireland. On the surface they have nothing in common and probably wouldn't
have crossed paths outside school had it not been for the fact that
Connell's mother cleans house for Marianne's mother and Connell waits at the
house to take his mother home every day. So begins a friendship that is kept
hidden from their school friends because at school Connell is one of the
popular and confident kids, and Marianne is considered an awkward oddity,
having no friends, but really not caring either. Connell is embarrassed to
be seen at school with Marianne and Marianne seems to accept that they
shouldn't acknowledge each other.

Skip ahead a year, and the two are at university in Dublin. Marianne has
found her confidence and is popular and outgoing, while Connell can only
stand looking on from the sidelines uncertain with what to do with his life.
Despite the changes in their circumstances they are each supportive of the
other, and through numerous personal, sometimes destructive relationships,
they always eventually gravitate towards one another.

Normal People could be called a coming of age novel and the central
characters are young people, but it isn't necessarily a young adult novel. I
don't think Rooney is aiming to write for any particular generation because
what Connell and Marianne go through is applicable to most of us whatever
our ages. It's not quite a romance either, but it is a love story. It almost
defies categorization. Ultimately I think it's a novel about integrity and
doing the right thing for the person you love, all the while knowing that
your own life will likely be changed and diminished. It's a novel about pure
love, love that is capable of overcoming everything, including shame and
Nominated for the Booker prize, Sally Rooney's writing is beautiful, and
each new chapter is a snapshot in the lives of two flawed but hopeful young


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