Normal People follows the story of Marianne and Connell, two young and slightly awkward teenagers from different backgrounds living in Sligo, Ireland. It follows their lives and their “will they – won’t they” relationship. It’s almost a coming of age novel as you witness both characters grow before your eyes.
I’ve read Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney and I have noticed with both that novel and this one, that Rooney has a unique ability to believably characterise a teenager / young adult without seeming cliche. The dialogue is interesting and never feels heavy. It’s as if you’re inside their heads and you understand exactly why they act how they do.
As Marianne frees herself from the constraints of her childhood, Connell undergoes his own character growth and tries to rid himself of gender stereotypes.
I found Normal People to be a complete page-turner. It’s honest and witty and raw. You feel sadness for the characters at several points, but also happy and almost proud of how much they grow.
Have you read Normal People, or anything else by Sally Rooney?