Book Notes: Normal People by Sally Rooney

Some very quick and brief thoughts:

  • In her writing, Rooney’s characters are in the present moment doing one thing and then she has them think retrospectively, starting another narrative. I suppose she does this to add depth and further information to the story but it feels disjointed for me, particularly because it happens so frequently.
  • 187 pages in and I think something has finally clicked in this book when Marianne says I don’t know why I can’t be like normal people. Because normal people don’t exist.
  • Marriane’s relationships are giving me flashbacks to Jude from A Little Life. It’s been what, 4 months and the flashbacks are unfortunately still vivid. I apologize for that reference if you, like me, have tried to forget certain parts large chunks of that book.
  • I’m reminded of Scenes from a Marriage (2021) – a similar rendition of relationships: complicated, steeped in history and emotion.

Quotes & Words

Life offers up these moments of joy despite everything.

That’s the only part of himself he wants to protect, the part that exists inside her.

The sky is a thrilling chlorine-blue, stretched taut and featureless like silk.

He has been a continual object of loathing and derision


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