Normal People by Sally Rooney

a nutshell: this is primarily a love story – following two students who come of age in Dublin’s intellectual circles – entwined with secondary stories of what is not love

a line: “Is the world such an evil place, that love should be indistinguishable from the basest and most abusive forms of violence?”

an image: the first time Marianne hears Connell say he loves her she has to close her eyes to keep from crying with the knowledge that even in memory she’ll find this moment unbearably intense, having never believed herself fit to be loved

a thought: at one point while reading, Connell describes himself as ‘intellectually unserious’ in his concern with fictional people marrying each other, which felt like a slightly jarring reminder of my own ‘unserious’ness in caring so much at that moment about the relationship he has with Marianne

a fact: as an undergraduate at Trinity College, Rooney was the number-one competitive debater in Europe

 

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