Saturday, May 18, 2019

 Dear Great Book Guru, Flowers are blooming and spirits are shining in Sea Cliff throughout the merry month of May.  Now I must have a book to match this beautiful time of year.  I’m looking for a novel – under 300 pages set in a lovely time and place.  Any thoughts?   Marveling in May

Dear Marveling in May, NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney is the book for you…. Set in present day Ireland shifting between Dublin and Carricklea - a small town in County Sligo - this beautifully written,  thought-provoking novel traces the relationship of Marianne and Connell. When we first meet them as sixteen year-olds, Marianne is a social misfit of sorts, scorned by her schoolmates, while Connell is a hugely popular athlete and academic star. His mother is a domestic worker and Marianne’s a prominent attorney.   While the teens become close friends, Connell is ever fearful his schoolmates will learn of their relationship.  When they enter Trinity College in Dublin, the nexus changes. Connell is the misfit and Marianne the star - largely because of class and privilege.  For the next four years, they consistently misread each other’s actions and their friendship falters. Throughout, Rooney presents her characters’ insecurities and vulnerabilities as a mirror of today’s economic and societal failings.   Recommended!

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