This unassuming little book is anything but. NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney is bound to be a force. Already chosen to win the Costa Award for literature, it’s also been long-listed for the Man Booker. Sally’s awfully young at age 27 for all of this, but it’s certainly rightly earned.
NORMAL PEOPLE is so much more than a coming-of-age novel in Ireland. It’s a quiet, literary novel with characters you will come to care for as they struggle through the challenging years of their young lives.
Connell is a popular football star at school. He’s outgoing and well-liked. Marianne is introverted to the nth degree, unpopular, and awkward. Then there’re the social issues. Connell’s mom cleans Marianne’s house. Marianne’s family is rich. What is the attraction between these two young people? Total opposites, right? Maybe not so much.
Things switch quickly after the teens leave their small town to attend Trinity College in Dublin. Here they live away from all their familiar things. While Marianne becomes a social butterfly and blossoms in front of our eyes, Connell becomes quiet and shy.
Written with such spare prose that not one word is wasted, Rooney brings to the writing table a fresh and very smart coming-of-age story set in Ireland. This story reeks of class angst, family strife, the trials of friendship, and first love.
I can only imagine what we have to look forward to from sassy Sally Rooney in the coming years. I only know I can’t wait!
My review copy of NORMAL PEOPLE came to me via the generous publishing people at Hogarth, a division of Crown Publishing, all in exchange for an honest review. I loved it!