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Shortlisted for a whole array of awards, named A Sunday Times, Observer and Telegraph book of the year, and A Sunday Times top 100 novel of the twenty-first century, it's incredible to think that Conversations with Friends was Sally Rooney's debut novel. It's a bit of a mindblowing fact in all honesty. But it's a novel that is worthy of all of its accolades (and one that deserves many more too).
I read Sally Rooney's second novel, Normal People, last year and I put off reading Conversations with Friends for a long time, for fear that I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I had enjoyed her second novel. But now I only regret that I didn't read it sooner.
Sally Rooney has a way with words that I cannot help but marvel at. Described by the Mail on Sunday as "a dazzling new talent", I can't help but agree with them.
Conversations with Friends Synopsis
Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed and observant. A student in Dublin and an aspiring writer, at night she performs spoken word with her best friend Bobbi, who used to be her girlfriend. When they are interviewed and then befriended by Melissa, a well-known journalist who is married to Nick, an actor, they enter a world of beautiful houses, raucous dinner parties and holidays in Provence, beginning a complex ménage-à-quatre. But when Frances and Nick get unexpectedly closer, the sharply witty and emotion-averse Frances is forced to honestly confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time.
A review of Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney:
Conversations with Friends follows friends, Frances and Bobbi, as they navigate adulthood, and all of the challenges that it brings with it.
Much like with Normal People, Conversations with Friends is more character driven than it is plot driven. As a result, not much really 'happens' throughout and a lot of the scenes could be described as mundane. But it's a narrative style that works well for Sally's style of writing.
In fact, I think it says a lot that she is able to write about ‘normal’ people living ‘normal’ lives and yet she can make them so captivating that you’re happy to read an entire novel about them.
A beautifully written, powerful novel that tackles the messy reality of adulthood, friendships and love with a rawness that many other novels don't have the courage to take on.
Now I've just got to eagerly await Sally Rooney's next novel. Or to hope that Conversations with Friends is adapted into a tv series that is perfect as the Normal People's adaptation...
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