Book Review: Conversations With Friends by Sally RooneyI was rather late to the party when it came to Sally Rooney. And then, all of a sudden, I saw the Irish author and her books everywhere online — it seemed that every single person was reading, tweeting, or talking about, one of her novels, and so when I visited Berkelouw Books in Rose Bay the very next day and saw Conversations with Friends taking centre stage of their display, I immediately bought it; and read it almost as swiftly, before penning my Conversations with Friends book review. A subtle and thought-provoking book, Conversations with Friends tells the tale of twenty-one year old aspiring writer Frances and former girlfriend Bobbi who now perform spoken word poetry together in Dublin. They soon meet enigmatic older couple, photographer and essayist Melissa, who takes an interest in Bobbi and Frances and wants to write a piece about them, and her tall, dark and handsome husband, Nick, a bored actor who quickly enters into a flirtation with Frances. When Frances finds herself kissing Nick at a party, the pair begin a complicated affair and set in motion a chain of events that sees the two young poets enter into a sophisticated world of expensive houses and holidays in France, a world away from their own reality.
The First Time
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Normal People & Conversations with Friends - Rave Reviews
The first novel by the year-old Irish writer Sally Rooney, Conversations With Friends , wears its influences on its sleeve. The narrator and her friends are fans of Twitter poet laureate Patricia Lockwood. Frances and her friends, at age 21, are a little too old to be precocious in the manner of a Salinger character, nor are any of them desperate cases like Seymour Glass. None of their struggles are out of the ordinary. When Bobbi acts too cool for school, as when the pair are smoking outside Dublin bars with male poets, Frances does the talking. Mostly I agreed with her assessment.
Her prose to me is that self-evidently spellbinding and new. I was in work when I received the email. I read the message several times. For some reason I deleted it briefly, and then went into my trash folder to retrieve it almost straight away. Then I marked it as unread and opened it to read it again as if for the first time. Of course Bobbi was right.