NOW AN EMMY-NOMINATED HULU ORIGINAL SERIES • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A stunning novel about the transformative power of relationships” (People) from the author of Conversations with Friends, “a master of the literary page-turner” (J. Courtney Sullivan).
ONE OF THE TEN BEST NOVELS OF THE DECADE—Entertainment Weekly
TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—People, Slate, The New York Public Library, Harvard Crimson
AND BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, O: The Oprah Magazine, Time, NPR, The Washington Post, Vogue, Esquire, Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire, Vox, The Paris Review, Good Housekeeping, Town & Country
Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At 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.
A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.
Normal People is the 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 that they can’t.
Praise for Normal People
“[A] novel that demands to be read compulsively, in one sitting.”—The Washington Post
“Arguably the buzziest novel of the season, Sally Rooney’s elegant sophomore effort . . . is a worthy successor to Conversations with Friends. Here, again, she unflinchingly explores class dynamics and young love with wit and nuance.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[Rooney] has been hailed as the first great millennial novelist for her stories of love and late capitalism. . . . [She writes] some of the best dialogue I’ve read.”—The New Yorker
i hate marianne, i had to say it.35
He would give up on his dreams for her but sh e wouldn’t let him. I do like the characters. The end was special cause he would stay if she wanted him to but she let him go. Their love was selfless in that way. I liked marianne more than conell because he almost never appreciated marianne the way i thought she deserved between hiding her in hs and having a different gf, while she would always be okay with him coming back to her. She never got fed up. He was truly the only person who showed her kindness consistently so it wasnt like she had other options. The power imbalance in the relationship allowed to act how he did from the beginning to end, which was sad to watch for mariannes sake. I also rlly like the trope of disagreeable women not being loved and provokes an interesting discussion of sexism within the realm of relationships.45
i see a little bit of myself in marianne at the end when she starts to question his love for her and how she says she doesn’t understand why people would want to be completely independent when you can lean on 1 person and completely depend on them so i resonate with that part , but the entire book as a whole brought a lot of frustration35
I have to open with saying that I absolutely loved this book. It was heart-wrenching and heartwarming and interesting and fun and sad. It was everything I wanted it to be. It was a little short but I think I only think that because I wish that there was more of it. I simultaneously believe that it is just the right length for the book and any more content would have stretched the characters and story too thinly. I was first introduced to the concept of this book when browsing YouTube. I found the trailer for the Hulu series based on the book and was instantly sold on the idea. Of course I had to read the book first and I am so glad that I did. The story is deeply psychological and a lot of it takes place in the heads of the characters. No matter how good an actor is they can’t come close to portraying the inner workings of the mind in the same way that Sally Rooney does with her writing. There are two unique quirks of the book that a reader should be aware of. First it uses present tense which isn’t too difficult for most readers to get through but it is a deviation from the norm and it took me a couple of pages before I settled into this style of reading. Over the course of the book Sally Rooney’s use of present tense enhances the book by providing a deep divide between the inner thought of the characters in the moment as they forge their relationship forward and their deep ruminations on the past actions that have been taken. I definitely think it was a good choice and my experience was better for it. The second quirk is a little harder to get past. The dialogue does not use any quotation marks at all. I don’t know why the book is like this and it took me some time to get used to this wild deviation from standard writing practice but eventually I did move past it. I wonder if I missed some nuance and intrigue in the opening of the book as my mind adjusted to the new normal of Normal People but there was enough in the rest of the book to satiate my appetite fully. Once I was used to the dialogue reading through it was totally natural.55
I love the emotions tied up in this book. Even though I wanted to scream at the communication issues these two had, sometimes that is just reality and some people can’t face it. It was unique to read it all play out. I loved it55
Beautiful and relatable55
The characters are relatable, I don’t think the point of the story is to climax I think it is simply to be relatable, which the author does very well.35
Amazing book. Very compelling characters and story line. I felt the emotions of the characters so deeply and really related to the story line55
Exceptional book and an exceptional film. Captured many things…brought on so many feelings. I felt myself wanting to know where the relationship platonic or romantic might go next.55
the writing style is nice but it isn’t enough to make up for the lackluster story. I was captivated at certain points but really struggled and still haven’t finished the book.25