This book has sat on my shelf for six months but the story has recently been adapted into a Hulu series, which I’ll admit prompted me to finally pick it up.

I knew I’d like it based on Rooney’s last book, Conversations with Friends but this is next level in my opinion. It’s so beautifully written than I can’t stop thinking of it and I would give anything to be the writer Rooney is.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation – awkward but electrifying – something life-changing begins.

Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they can’t.

This story spans the years as Connell and Marianne share an orbit, despite their very different backgrounds. It’s a love story but also examines the topic of class and privilege. I couldn’t love it more.

I love how flawed the characters are – how the power flips flops between them and how Marianne’s path leads her into the darkness, in a direction very different to Connell’s, who’s future throws him his own curve balls. It’s very human and heartfelt.

It may be a world a way from my own experiences but I felt it all, profoundly. I think this is a book for the ages, a modern classic and I can’t wait to start the show just to see how the central protagonists’ have been cast*.


What are you reading?

*I’m pretending I’m not already three episodes down… the adaptation is available in full on BBC iPlayer.