Normal People by Sally Rooney

How I came across the book?

My friend, Mahnoor, from my bookclub, Bookay, asked if we could #ShareARead.  agreed and voila! She introduced me to this book by tagging me in snippets that were posted on our online group.

The snippets had me sufficiently interested and we started reading it together.

#ShareARead

On my bookclub, we have this hashtag going so that people can read books together which further inculcates the habit of active discussion.

What do I rate it?

I give this book a 3.75 because of the things that I will talk about below.

Why?

To begin with, I dd not like Connell’s character much. He may have been one heck of a kid but he was a douche where it mattered. There were many times I wanted to smack him on the head for being the moron that he was.

As for Marrianne, I’d have loved to give her mother a piece of my mind for what she did to the poor child. In my opinion, her mother is responsible for all the major issues she has had and her personality development as it did.

Not that I am saying Marianne is not responsible at all for how her life ended up being. She totally is because we decide how we deal with the curve balls life throws at us.

There were many moments where I wanted to pull my hair out in frustration for all the foolish decisions that these two kept making while pretending there were no other options available to them.

I would have been happy if these two would have finally realized what they meant to each other but I guess I am not that lucky. To be honest, reading about these two was like self torture (and no, I am not masochist in any form). Self torture I willing indulged in because I wanted there to be a high note. I kept wishing for it till the last word I read.

Why then a 3.75?

If there was so much pain (for me) in this book, why would I rate it towards the high end of the rating spectrum. The reason for that is, the story and the characters were actually Normal despite all their abnormalities!

The issues that were raised (though left unresolved) are all too real to be taken lightly. Issues like domestic violence and how it is normalized in societies. How people are not willing to understand the severity of what one may have had suffered.

Peer pressure is something we all love to talk about but we never sit down and dwell deep into the consequences of giving in to what the society or the the people you hang out with deem cool or acceptable. In fact this is something that I have faced first hand and I understand real well what Marianne may have suffered. Just because something is accepted by everyone does not mean it is right! Everyone (including Connell and Marianne here) need to grow a backbone and stand for what they believe in! And everyone needs to have their own belief system for crying out loud!

And then there is love.

Today, in a conversation, someone said, “Love is blind”.

I replied with, “Blind is fine but not that blind!”

That is what I have to say for these two. Their journey from experiencing love to realizing it is love they are experiencing feels more like walking in an alley with a blindfold. What kind of love is it? They may be each other’s anchor but they are making each other miserable!

In the end, I will repeat that Connell has been a docuhe through and through using Marianne every time he had the opportunity.

Marianne, on the other hand needed to use her amazing brain and deduce what kind of a person he was and should have kicked him to the curb and beyond.

Well, that is just my take on it. Your opinion can differ and that is fine.

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