Bar Bar Book Club: Normal People By Sally Roony
Our book club meeting this month was very interesting. I don't think we have ever had a book that has divided the group like this did.
Very much like marmite, Normal People by Sally Rooney had some book club members loving it and others hating it. So, much so that we had to give it two separate ratings to represent our thoughts realistically.
"Both two stars and five stars!"
The plot is straightforward. Marianne and Connell go to the same school, they fall in love, but he pretends not to know her when at school and the relationship disintegrates. As time passes, their love for each other is apparent, but never comes to fruition, both regretting to admit their true feelings.
As the title states, it's a story about 'Normal People'; a snapshot of every day. This left the book with no real beginning, middle or end, but was a ",em>movement through time", as described by some of the members as a trail of consciousness.
This idea was emphasised through the lack of speech marks which, for some, made it hard to keep up with who was talking. For others, this became a metaphor for the couple floating through life as one.
"Some Bar Bar Book Club members described the book as dull, lazy and quite repetitive!"
One member read the book twice as she loved it so much, which was in stark contrast to others' opinions. It certainly made for a very lively discussion.
The lack of references to the present time allowed the reader to imagine the story could be set at any time. Some imagined it in the '80s, which was quite a nice feature of the writing style.
With the amount of hype this book received, some of us were expecting so much more, but as it says in the title, it is a story about, "Normal People".
As an author, Sally Rooney is growing in popularity and success, but I would say her style of writing is not for everyone. Some very heartfelt moments were appreciated by our members, but if you are looking for a piece of fiction that will stay with you, I would say this isn't it.
Normal People by Sally Rooney is available on Amazon if you want to read it, and our next book club read is going to be An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. The date of the meeting is yet to be confirmed.
Until next time ...
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