“I love you”, he had said so without even lowering the volume of the radio, with the naturalness of ineluctable things, Normal people of Sally Rooney make us suffer, get angry, travel on emotions. A book that involves you, a bit like certain songs, which seem to speak to you until they become yours. A nuance, that mechanism of surrender to the other to feel free and accepted, the safe haven, the only safe haven that is a stormy sea in the eyes of the world.
I love you. I don’t say it to say, I really love you. Tears come back to her and she closes them. This moment will seem to her an intolerable intensity even in the memories, but she is already aware of it since now, while it is happening
Normal people is the second novel of the Irish writer who entered our lives last year, with the debut of Conversation with Friends. There is a thread that binds the characters, generational, they are millenial grappling with themselves, a society sometimes horrible and fragile, neurotic loves, in which one flies like mad magpies just to be loved by those who love us, and then move them away the moment it is there.
We are In Ireland, Marianne and Connel meet in high school. Rooney also lights a spotlight in this book on social dynamics, class disparity. Marianne is the daughter of a wealthy family, Connel’s mother does the cleaning for them. But Marianne is shunned at school, bullied, pointed. The clothes, the way of doing, the cruel scales of being accepted never hangs on her side. We feel marginalization, and we perceive Marianne’s detachment from the context through her relationship with Connel. He is the only boy he talks to, a story is born that remains clandestine. The boy fears the judgment of the community, of the other students.
On this triggers a narrative that goes on in time, sometimes skipping months, other days, Marianne and Connel go to Trinity and the roles seem to overturn. The dark corners of Marianne, the relationship with men, with male power, suffering at home the violence of his brother, the depression of Connel, a love that strides, gasps, but resists stumbling in their lives that seems not to want to adapt to the Normal People. Rooney tells an intense bond of friendship and love, of desperation and awareness, the relationship of young people who react to politics, sink in fears, and then go back up with sudden puffs of oxygen.