BOOK: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
I finished Conversations with Friends in two days. Sally Rooney's writing is unputdownable because it reads very fast. It doesn't waste any time with description and is very much about, as the title says, conversations (or even actions and feelings). You will never know what the room the characters are in looks like, but you will have a deep undertanding of the psychological atmosphere.
Conversations with Friends is exactly that, the psychological portrait of four people told from the perspective of one of them, Frances. Her, her best friend/ex-girlfriend Bobbi, Nick and his wife Melissa are often times unlikeable and knowingly pretentious. However, they all clearly put up this all-too-smart facade to hide their internal struggles, which immidiately makes them relatable.
What Rooney does best is definitely conversations. In her own style, her dialogue feels so true to character you can't ever truly argue with them. You understand exactly where each word came from - and not only Frances, but all the other characters as well. That is something that rarely happens while reading a book and it's highly enjoyable.
I might've made the mistake of reading Normal People, Rooney's second novel, before reading this one, her debut. I found Normal People superior in nearly every way, and the style is so close to this one that I ended up not enjoying Conversations with Friends quite as much (which is why I docked a star). In Normal People, for example, no matter how unlikable the characters became, as a reader you always loved them and cared for them - as if they were your own friends. However, I think Conversations with Friends is a very interesting portrayal of adult life and the hardships it entails to be 21... or 37.