Gavin F (gavluvsga) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Gavin F

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Book #12: Normal People by Sally Rooney

Number of pages: 266

This is a book that was tipped to win the Booker Prize in 2018, so I was keen to read it for some time. I'm really glad I did, and for me it was even better than the eventual winner (Milkman).

The main characters, Connell and Marianne, are on-off lovers living in Ireland, sort of like friends with benefits. That's the basic premise, and I noticed that the book jumped forward in time, often by several months, at the end of each chapter, making the plotline similar to books like One Day and The Versions of Us, only without the humourous elements.

I noticed that Sally Rooney put in a lot of social commentary; Marianne is higher up the social scale than Connell, and his mother works as a cleaner for her family. As a result, neither family thinks that Connell is good enough for Marianne. The book takes the reader through something like three years of their lives, and they constantly go back to seeing each other, even while in relationships with other people. The book also touched upon mental health issues, which are very much a big thing in modern times.

In my previous review (of The Shepherd's Hut) I commented on the writer never using speech marks when people talked, and the same happens here, so maybe it's a common thing with modern writers. I enjoyed every moment of this book, and found it very readable; I am definitely interested in reading Sally Rooney's other book, Conversations with Friends. It also avoids a cliched ending, which is another thing that I liked.

Next book: The tattooist of Auschwitz (Heather Morris)
Tags: 1001 books to read before you die, book review, contemporary, drama, fiction, love, mental health, modern classic, romance

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