Normal People

Normal People

A Novel

Large Print - 2018
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Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years. This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person's life -- a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us -- blazingly -- about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege.
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, ©2018.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9780593168202
Characteristics: 273 pages ;,22 cm.


From the critics

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VaughanPLKatherine Nov 20, 2020

I found this book very modern and relatable, I was not surprised to see the author is my age.
Sometimes I hated the way the characters were acting and yet I could see myself acting the same way and making the same decisions, saying similar things.

This is by no means a 'fun' 'light' love story, and I appreciate that it delves into the insecurities, blurriness of current relationships. Both characters have their own mental health issues and we see how that comes into play throughout their relationship and friendship.

I would recommend if you want a deep, though provoking love story, but not the warm and fuzzies.

sjpl_rebekah Nov 10, 2020

There are so many layers to this story and the relationship it portrays. The magnetism between the two characters in palpable, and it is fascinating how they orbit in and out of each other's lives. Connell and Marianne are soulmates, but both are so damaged and have so much self-loathing that neither of them can really see it, even as they act on it. To say their relationship is complicated is a vast understatement because there is so much nuance to their every interaction. They show each other parts of themselves that they show no one else, while at the same time shutting each other out from the aspects of themselves that they freely give other people. At the end, I was left with the sense that despite their tumultuous history, they will always find their way back to each other. I found this satisfying in a way, even as it left me feeling slightly bereft.

Nov 09, 2020

I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about this novel. As readers, we are privy to the inner lives of those experiencing the tumult of young love and finding one’s place in the world—specifically the world of the 21st century. As someone who struggles with depression and anxiety, it was a beautiful description of what the process of healing looks like—albeit a rough process at times. I can’t recommend this book any more highly. Take some time and dive into the complex worlds of Connell and Marianne.

Nov 07, 2020

100% fell in love with this book. As a young person I think this book is so relatable because we've all been in this weird position of miscommunication in a relationship. Read this book during lockdown and can totally relate. Lots of high and downs reading about Colin and Marrianne and their complicated relation. I laughed and cried with this book. I hate the ending but I would re-read it because its so good. Please write a second part!!

Nov 01, 2020

A beautifully written & poetic Story of first Love and all the angst, tumult, and ultimate transformation that entails. Sally's ability to delve into the depths of emotions without getting waylaid by them is reminiscent for me of the early chapters of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. This is masterful Storytelling from a gifted Author.

Oct 29, 2020

I think you need to fix the ability to download it to my Kindle before you start working on appearances. It also keeps failing to download. Also, I am fed up of having to guess which ebook I want from a list of 10+ options, only to find I guessed wrong and it is the epub version, not the Kindle version. Ridiculous.

Oct 05, 2020

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. At the beginning, I didn't think I would like it because the main characters were teenagers and reading about relationships at a young age feels trivial- but once you get to university years you realize it was necessary for character development.

Definitely a unique and more realistic love story, about so much more than love.

Sep 20, 2020

Okay book. Not the type of book I usually pick. I prefer lighter material to read. It is not an uplifting read. Left me feeling a bit depressed, actually. And concerned that I didn’t “get” all the literary layers since there has been critics who thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Sep 18, 2020

I picked this book up because it was recommended as a reference for my own writing style (dialogue without quotation marks). I continued to read because I somehow related to both characters in the story. The way the characters choose to deal with their worsening mentality and the roughness of adult life and their own personal struggles was just amazingly relatable for me. I honestly feel like this would be a good book for high school seniors to read. It may help them deal with life after they graduate, because, even the most popular kid in your high school will struggle to make friends in college. Even the smartest kid in your high school will struggle to get a job. High School too often ends with these young adults feeling like not much about them will change.

Sep 16, 2020

You can watch the TV series on CBC Gem for free! I didn't read the paper novel though.

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Aug 06, 2020

I’m just nervous, he says. I feel like it’s pretty obvious I don’t want you to leave.

In a tiny voice she says: I don’t find it obvious what you want.

Aug 06, 2020

If people appeared to behave pointlessly in grief, it was only because human life was pointless, and this was the truth that grief revealed.

Aug 06, 2020

Cruelty does not only hurt the victim, but the perpetrator also, and maybe more deeply and more permanently. You learn nothing very profound about yourself simply by being bullied; but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget.

ArapahoeMaryA Feb 07, 2020

Marianne had a wildness that got into him for a while and made him feel that he was like her, that they had the same unnameable spiritual injury, and that neither of them could ever fit into the world. But he was never damaged like she was. She just made him feel that way.

There’s something frightening about her, some huge emptiness in the pit of her being. It’s like waiting for a lift to arrive and when the doors open nothing is there, just the terrible dark emptiness of the elevator shaft, on and on forever. She’s missing some primal instinct, self-defense or self-preservation, which makes other human beings comprehensible. You lean in expecting resistance, and everything just falls away in front of you.

ArapahoeStaff26 Sep 17, 2019

He makes a facial expression she can't interpret, kind of raising his eyebrows, or frowning. When they get back to his house the windows are all dark and Lorraine is in bed. In Connell's room he and Marianne lie down together whispering. He tells her she's beautiful. pg. 45

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Aug 28, 2020

kaitoryn thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Apr 06, 2020

CORI D. MORRIS thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Aug 04, 2019

J_257 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Summary
SPL_HEATHERL Jun 25, 2019

Connell and Marianne attend the same high school in small town, present day
Ireland. On the surface they have nothing in common and probably wouldn't
have crossed paths outside school had it not been for the fact that
Connell's mother cleans house for Marianne's mother and Connell waits at the
house to take his mother home every day. So begins a friendship that is kept
hidden from their school friends because at school Connell is one of the
popular and confident kids, and Marianne is considered an awkward oddity,
having no friends, but really not caring either. Connell is embarrassed to
be seen at school with Marianne and Marianne seems to accept that they
shouldn't acknowledge each other.

Skip ahead a year, and the two are at university in Dublin. Marianne has
found her confidence and is popular and outgoing, while Connell can only
stand looking on from the sidelines uncertain with what to do with his life.
Despite the changes in their circumstances they are each supportive of the
other, and through numerous personal, sometimes destructive relationships,
they always eventually gravitate towards one another.

Normal People could be called a coming of age novel and the central
characters are young people, but it isn't necessarily a young adult novel. I
don't think Rooney is aiming to write for any particular generation because
what Connell and Marianne go through is applicable to most of us whatever
our ages. It's not quite a romance either, but it is a love story. It almost
defies categorization. Ultimately I think it's a novel about integrity and
doing the right thing for the person you love, all the while knowing that
your own life will likely be changed and diminished. It's a novel about pure
love, love that is capable of overcoming everything, including shame and
Nominated for the Booker prize, Sally Rooney's writing is beautiful, and
each new chapter is a snapshot in the lives of two flawed but hopeful young


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