“Channelling the times” July New Reads Book Club: Normal People

July 24, 2019

“Channelling the times” July New Reads Book Club: Normal People

This evening, themes of love, youth, guilt, vulnerability, and normalcy were discussed. Touted as the voice of a generation, Sally Rooney’s Normal People spurred a lively conversation.

“An island within an island…” her portrayal of modern Ireland was both earnest and authentic.

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“She does misunderstanding so well! … Jumping in, and pulling back.” readers expressed their shock, and later understanding as inexcusable actions are revealed to be relatable, after all. Both frustrating and sensible, the story describes experiences many readers have lived themselves.

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“There is longing and there is feeling - their relationship apart is as intense. Their long, drawn out communication is so real.” Though they rooted for the protagonists, readers found their time apart as compelling as their time together.

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Commentary on the literary community appeared as an aspect of the writer herself, rather than the characters; perhaps a challenge, perhaps an instance of self-awareness on her part. Fictionalization of her own life will have contributed to the realism of her writing.

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Normal People

Sally Rooney

LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE: A wondrously wise, genuinely unputdownable new novel from Sally Rooney, winner of the 2017 Sunday Times Young Writer...

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Tamara Elali

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Tamara Elali

Events Assistant | Bookseller