Normal People, by Sally Rooney, during abnormal times, is a-okay. For, honestly, we all need simple, easy to process stories in our lives at the moment. So here goes…
He and she met. They became best friends. They navigated adolescence and adulthood (the young, carefree kind), sometimes together and sometimes apart. But love that held them together as best friends glues them through the years, healthily and unhealthily. Overall, sounds familiar. But not so much, either.
The chapters are chronological, covering the most dramatic parts of the lives of the young adults. The fact that the novel is written without apostrophes drew me close enough to read every line (yeah, I’m guilty of skipping phrases and lines, often). And wasn’t each page crafted beautifully? If you read the book, you might agree. Or may be you’d find it disorienting, I don’t know.
There are the constant bells and music of YA novels, throughout, but it never gets too out of hand. The cheese and corn is served in just the right amount.
The characters are beautifully developed; though, I’m a little confused still, about some of the weird things that the two lovers do. They’re not very predictable. Also, how are people so clearly vile and bad? Or good and vulnerable? Where are the grey people?
Perhaps the grey is compensated for with the episodes of depression, self hate and outright stupidity. The two of them are inanely mature and immature at the same time, such that I’m positively irritated at their inconsistency in moods and actions, but then again, hey, the characters compensate for the lack of logic with emotion and drama, so it’s okay. I guess.
The drama is good. Makes you want to know more. I was glued. During these mind numbing times of COVID-19, Normal People is what I needed. 3.5/5.
(Picture courtesy: Getty)