Normal People, by Sally Rooney ( pb 2019)
The second novel from young Irish writer Sally Rooney and already with a Booker Longlist nomination to its credit. This is a thoughtful and intimate coming of age story of Connell and Marianne, the novel moves between menace and tenderness with a truly original voice.
Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation - awkward but electrifying - something life-changing begins.
Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they can't.