Sally Rooney’s debut novel.
I consumed this book in a matter of days, as I did Normal People, immersed by her writing style which I know can irritate some readers due to its lack of punctuation on speech. The idea is that the reader interprets what is being said around the words and how the character feels in that moment, as the situation is so relatable and normal, based on the ambiguous environment we may find ourselves in.
Like the success of Normal People, I am SO pleased this book will too be turned into a 12-part miniseries on BBC (and Hulu) with the same production company and director Lenny Abrahamson (who was AMAZING), which will no doubt boost the careers of Alison Oliver as the main character Frances, as well as Sasha Lane as Bobbi and Joe Alwyn as Nick (Taylor Swift’s boyf).
The story is told from Frances’ perspective, who appears to be a somewhat flawed character, preferring to remain quiet yet speak when she feels necessary, even if her words sting others’ feelings. She has a close relationship with her friend Bobbi, who also turns out to be her ex-girlfriend and it seems she is still hurting from their breakup.
We experience Frances go through pain in the form of self-harm, mental health struggles, family issues and the physical pain of endometriosis, all the while dealing with many conflicting thoughts as she and Bobbi are introduced to the wealthy couple, Melissa and Nick, who are all fascinated by each other.
As a result of Nick’s unhappy marriage and Bobbi’s spinning emotions, the pair end up having an affair.
The book consists of a series of conversations, however small and difficult they are, yet are captivating each time as they are captured so realistically between friends (ground-breaking title, right?). Reading through Frances’ experience, we are left to interpret her thoughts and feelings as she remains to be cold towards others. But is she all she seems… What will be of her and Nick? Or Bobbi? Or Melissa?
So worth the read.