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March 26, 2019


#Ireland Sally Rooney

by N@ncy


Wrap-up  #ReadingIrelandMonth19

  1. I have had a busy month reading Irish authors.
  2. There is so much talent on the Emerald Isle.
  3. I want to thank Cathy for hosting.
  4. I will be back next year!

Books read:    List #ReadingIrelandMonth2019


Shortlisted books Kerry Group Best Irish Novel of the Year:    read 4/5

  1. Timeline: 4 years
  2. Structure: no chapter titles to indicate what we can  expect
  3. Rooney uses a chronological timeline:
  4. Begin January 2011 – End February 2015
  5. Genre: romantic tragicomedy
  6. Setting: Carricklea, Ireland and Trinity College Dublin



  1. Sally Rooney draws on elements of the social world
  2. that she  inhabited growing up in Castlebar, Ireland
  3. …and then in college.
  4. She studied English at Trinity Dublin, and
  5. …the book is very much about her
  6. …observing that  social milieu.
  7. Two star-crossed lovers:  Connell and Marianne.
  8. “…like two little plants sharing the same plot of soil
  9. growing around one another, contorting to make room.”


  1. Connell: popular, quiet, studious, sport jock, good-looking,
  2. cared what people thought of him
  3. …considered quite a catch.
  4. Marianne: unpopular, feels lonely and unworthy,
  5. secretive, independent-minded – the ugliest girl in school
  6. Connell feels “…being alone with Marianne is like opening a door away from normal life…”
  7. Marianne feels “…he bought her goodness like a gift…”


  1. How does Connell change?
  2. March 2011:
  3. Connell pretends not to know Marianne in high-school.
  4. He wants to live in two worlds…good-looking, popular
  5. …but still dating the ugliest girl in school. No one must know.
  6. January 2015:
  7. Unlike him to behave  so openly in public
  8. by embracing Marianne and saying: ”I love you”
  9. …on New Year’s Eve.


  1. How does Marianne change?
  2. March 2011:
  3. Marianne feels like an observer…be it an awkward one.
  4. January 2015:
  5. Marianne feels dependent upon another human being
  6. …for the first time in her life.


Last thoughts:

  1. I have seen 1 star reviews….and 5 star reviews about this book.
  2. For a long time I pushed Normal People to the bottom of my TBR.
  3. The book has been nominated for many prizes and
  4. has been reviewed on blogs, magazines and in  the newspapers.
  5. When a book gets so much exposure….I recoil.
  6. Now I have to read it for Kerry Group Irish Novel shortlist.


  1. I read pages of teen-age sexual relationships, parties, boozing
  2. dysfunctional family including Denise… Marianne’s  mother
  3. …and a jealous and violent  brother Alan.
  4. One of the highlights in the narrative was a minor character
  5. who played a major role:  Lorraine, Connell’s mother.
  6. Life for a millennial is not easy
  7. ….and Sally Rooney has articulated the
  8. …stress and strains of growing up and falling in love.


  1. Was I impressed?  No.
  2. Lorraine is the only character that saved this book.
  3. The narrative has an emotional impact
  4. that resonates with many readers.
  5. It is a very easy read and lacks depth.
  6. By that I mean…symbolism, metaphor, images.
  7. This book may be interesting for other millennials
  8. …but I found the plot uninteresting
  9. …on/off romance between two college students.
  10. It was a very average book about
  11. #NormalPeople.
Read more from fiction, Ireland
3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mar 26 2019

    This was how I felt too!


    • Mar 26 2019

      I’m so glad to here somebody felt as I did.
      I thought I was the only one!
      I’m reading The Hoarder today by Jess Kidd…and just after
      3 chapters I’ve had MORE reading pleasure than Sally Rooney’s
      entire book!
      I’ve had a great time reading with you during #ReadingIrelandMonth19!
      Thanks for all the effort you put into this challenge (reading suggestions, giveaways etc)
      I’ll continue to read Irish authors…and am looking for a #hashtag to gather my Irish reviews..for the rest of the year…any suggestions?



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  1. #Shortlist Kerry Group Irish Novel of 2019 | NancyElin

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