Prepare for April when ‘Normal People’ hits the shelves
By Karina Zapata, Arts Editor
Look out, Canada. Normal People by Sally Rooney is the new definition of a book that you can’t put down. I had the pleasure of picking up this book when I was in the U.K. over Christmas and I nearly inhaled it. I mean, staying up until five in the morning, nearly sobbing into the beautiful hardcover spine. Now, it doesn’t get released in North America until April, but let me get you excited for the wait.
When I finished reading Normal People, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days. Normal People is Irish author Sally Rooney’s second book and is so compelling that it makes you wonder how she hasn’t been writing for decades. It is a millennial book about two young adults, Marianne and Connell and how two people from completely different worlds grew together despite trying their hardest to be apart.
It started out when they were high school students and barely spoke. Marianne lives in a big, white house and Connell’s mother cleans the house each week. Each chapter is a jump into the future, whether it be four months, two weeks or five minutes. It is a love story but it is as far from a romance as a book can be. The book ends four years later, after a journey through high school, college and real life.
The entire drawn-out, plotless story, is so reminiscent of what real life relationships are, that it will make you gasp for breath. Thanks to Rooney, we are finally past the age of reading novels that are so disconnected from reality that you roll your eyes in the middle of a chapter. Normal People is an emotionally exhausting read in the best possible way. Once you get past the beginning, you delve into Marianne and Connell’s inner worlds — and let me tell you, it isn’t always pretty. Despite seeming like a surface level novel, Rooney dives deep into the realities of being physically and emotionally abused. It is political in the most tangible form. She writes in the most tender of ways about the instinctive need to be hurt and hurt others and how that ties into the desire to be loved.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, says Marianne. I don’t know why I can’t be like normal people.
Her voice sounds oddly cool and distant, like a recording of her voice played after she herself has gone away or departed for somewhere else.
In what way? he says.
I don’t know why I can’t make people love me.”
Normal People is extremely well-written, compelling, emotional and real with a rare but much deserved 4.2 out of 5 rating on Goodreads. Acclaimed the “literary phenomenon of the decade” by The Guardian, it’s safe to say that you should be adding Normal People to your list of books to read in 2019.
Keep an eye out for the alleged BBC adaptation, directed by the director of Room, Lenny Abrahamson.