Tag Archives: love

Book review: Normal People by Sally Rooney

Book: Normal People
Author: Sally Rooney
Genre: Fiction, psychological fiction
Rating: 5/5 
Published: 2018

Sally Rooney has a way with her straight-to-the-point style of words captivated by steadiness, but it still does not fail to draw you in. The book Normal People concentrates on the lives of two ordinary individuals (Connell and Marianne) who are discovering love, lust, loneliness, depression, trauma and overall, their path in transitioning into adulthood. Something we all can relate to. 

The story follows Connell and Marianne from their school days where they begin a secret affair. At school they pretend to not know of each other. Connell is popular at school, well liked, and an athlete who plays for the soccer team but as for Marianne she’s quiet, private, lonely, vulnerable and proud. Connell’s mother works as a cleaner at Marianne’s house. The two’s connection starts when Connell comes to pick his mother up. Their social and socio-economic backgrounds could not be further apart, but that does not stop the sparks happening between them. Events of betrayal happen and the two drift apart only to be brought back together at Trinity College in Dublin, where they both attend.

This is a story about two characters who are desperately in love and find their way back to each other, each time they drift apart. This is a story that goes well beyond lust and sexual awakening, two normal people who have a sense of innocence to them. Something we rarely see nowadays, where there are no drugs involved nor are, they criminals, which makes this book ever more interesting.

Sally Rooney, a young Irish author born in 1991. Her previous work consists of Conversation with Friendswhich was published in 2017, only a year before her book Normal People, which also gave a name for her. The book, Normal People, has won the 2018 Costa Novel Award, the Novel of the Year Award at the Irish Book Awards, and was Waterstones Fiction Book of the Year 2018. The book has also been adapted into a series on Hulu. 

Rooney’s writing style is simple but sharp like a knife, which leaves words bleeding inside of your head for days. While reading this novel myself I felt that I reached a level of epiphany in my young adult life, things became clearer almost. How miscommunication and misunderstandings can lead to failure in relationships and how subtle these miscommunications can be at times.

The book makes you not only think but also feel the realities of ordinary people. Rooney’s coming of age tale tackles why and how people interact in a unique way. Connell wonders, “Is the world such an evil place, that love should be indistinguishable from the basest and most abusive forms of violence?” Connell grows and slowly adjusts to the world around him, whereas Marianne relapses, often finding herself in abusive relationships, yet they still seem to be rooted to each other even though they drift apart. It’s almost frustrating that Rooney keeps these two characters apart. 

Rooney is a young and original writer, and she is only just getting started.

Poem 26: OBLIVION

A knot so tight,
Stuck in my throat,
Words of delight?
I laugh out of spite.

What do you want?
A familiar face now foreign,
Lost for meaning, judged often
By eyes that see sound, softened.

Mind so clouded,
Thoughts rushing, crowded
A parade of vivid dreams,
Strangely cheerful it seems.

Even maybe strangely sad,
Most considered it tacenda,
Broken sky leaking into meridian,
It fills us, the infinity of oblivion.

Poem 24: AIR

Pressing pause on life,
Waters crystal clear, no strife
Sun rays blossoming with kisses,
Some souls bored some in dreamy blisses.
Words hanging down my mouth,
Disappears with the gust,
Over spilled sinful lust.
Herbs I inhale, bring paranoia and fear
Trick is to relax and keep your mind clear,
Enjoy the world speak to you,
I have reached a bizarre epiphany,
You are my serendipity.
A deep voice so arcane,
Lost in onism, wishing for rain.
A touch of skin, entwined fingers and hair,
Your breath is my air.

Poem 22: TRANCEPARENCY

I howled so loud,
As they buried me,
In the cold wet ground.
Time fitted that into a palm
Distance brought distance,
In unison, so calm
Harmony, transparency,
I feel your pulse,
With such clarity,
Many masks we all hide behind,
Don’t forget eye for an eye
Will make the world go blind.
Deception, betrayal, dishonesty
The lack of transparency,
Hold me,
Beyond a skin-deep sense of self,
There’s a depth of rasasvada unusually elysian.
Make a decision,
Watch an irenic mangata
The moon reflecting on the sea
Peace simply asks for transparency.

Poem 21: CONTROL

He would join his daily coma,
On his faded old sofa,
Just like clockwork, tik tok, tik tok,
The alcohol, streaming his veins,
Tied down with ropes and chains,
I am sorry, he cries as he explains,
All the broken promises obsessively he maintains.

I stood still in my corner,
Terrified,
I stood still as days became weeks,
Weeks became months and years,
Time passed uncontrollably,
I watched and learned his behaviour,
All his techniques.
I saw empty bottles broken, so lovely,
Face pale, and drained, so ugly,
I never saw him come home early.
Until one day, he never came at all.

I’m in no need for a climax,
After a sensation of alcohol,
The trick is to relax,
I promise it’s my last drunk call.
The world is black and white,
Sometimes a little in between,
Mostly smells like piss in the alleyways,
It’s far from a pretty scene.

My hands are wrinkled,
Eyes barely see,
Hair is now grey,
But am I really free?
Time has caught up,
I am old and grown up,
Turned into my alcoholic father,
Like father like daughter,
No point in regret,
Because I can’t just pack,
And pick a time to go back.
Funky smell, jukebox, neon lights,
Vodka soda, with a bit of lime,
One thing we can’t control is time.

Poem 20: MIRROR

Do not disturb the silence,
It’s in his cage, sleeping, no violence,
He is my nightmare, my horror,
What a dark aura.
I am weak, getting weaker,
Draining my spirit, diving deeper,
I was never much of a public speaker,
More the suffer in silence,
It’s fine honestly,
Because no one is aware of my absence.
Life is spiting a cunning smile
On my face like a slap, I walk for a mile,
With a broken nose, black eye,
Bleeding lips, full of kisses saying goodbye.
But he is awakening,
Digging, and chewing the cage, I’m listening.
Stop him. Please, stop him.
But my odds are slim,
I don’t know what I will face,
I am petrified, is there simply no way to erase,
The past, my memories or this place?
I cry, without shoulders to cry on,
I scream; however, no soul hears,
I am all alone,
Sitting in a dark room,
At least I’ve got a throne,
Finally, the cage unleashes my biggest fear,
Before me it stands so dear,
It’s dark, chill hits down my spine,
It’s presence far from divine.
I see myself, it’s a mirror,
A pale face, and dry lips, bitter,
I feel a cold weight in my hand.
We both have a weapon, a pistol,
BAM! Unheard words, so wistful.

Poem 19: UTOPIA

We are the brain cells,
Of a nine-year-old boy,
His imagination with deep wells and spells.
There is no reality, in this reality,
It’s full of faceless eyes.
Synthetic lips, cursed with sanity,
Insanity, sanity people so concerned for morality,
Yet their hypocrisy, hurts my chest
A dead utopia, dust and a quest.
Full of lawless streets but I am free,
Lawless streets with nobody,
Lawless streets and a smiling cat,
Singing from a tree, just like LSD.
This is the dead utopia,
All you people fear,
Because our existence only exists,
As long as this boy is asleep and unaware.

Poem 18: HEARTBREAK

A green uniform complementing,
your pale soft skin,
A war you’re assenting,
The return date unknown,
I release my last pleasurable moan,
Before I am once again alone.

But my love, do you not know?
That I am soft for this world, sensitive.
My heart shatters with a touch,
More delicate than thin glass.

I lay on dry grass,
Wait for the endless time to pass,
Heavenly kiss is felt on my cheek,
Somehow a sense of loss,
Everything seems so bleak.

Tears soaked by a folded flag,
Handed by a proud naïve young man,
“HE WAS A HERO”, they all brag.
The colours; red, white and blue,
On my wall, what a view…

The saddest feeling is loss,
The loss of my path,
My past,
My love,
My future.
The loss of myself,
I wade into the woods,
So much greenery,
But all I see is machinery,
Bombs and tanks,
Greedy men drinking wine on their thrones.

You were the beauty in all my chaos,
Hopeless dreams I embrace,
A hole in my chest, wide open
It’s heavy, my heart is broken.

Poem 17: CHAOS

The fires we start, flames flicker, leaves burn,
A life is thriving in a bedroom filled
With echoes of fairy tales,
A thunder, a storm, ready to return,
To the land destroyed by men holding their ales.

The devils continue making deals,
Horses all scared, hitting their heels,
The mother of all existence,
Humans capturing their pathos,
The core of life can be found,
In the comfort of chaos.

Can you taste the bitterness in the air?
Once again lost, a scary sunset,
Stars glimmering somewhere.
Place your expectations on the table,
We have guests, wait, be patient.

Conversations blurred,
My screams were unheard,
My mind losing track of every word,
The creatures are now sharpening their claws,
They are smart, wild, exiled,
Who are you kidding? They have no laws.
Through the silent streets they crawl.

I wake up from this nightmare,
Will somebody finally care,
I wake up from a nightmare,
wishing I’m in a pretty castle somewhere,
I am stuck in darkness, cold air,
In a special place for the outcast,
Limbo, a chaos of my past.

Poem 16: WORDS

All these poems I wrote for you,
Beautiful, true maybe even cruel,
But all these words, I spit and throw up,
Like liquid sunsets mixed in with the sea,
Meaningless, a lost cause,
Cremated, but now an oak tree.
Birds stuck inside my hair,
Hair birthed from the ashes of the night sky,
They whisper words into my ear,
Words only I understand,
Only I’m able to comprehend.

I dreamt I was dancing, naked,
In the middle of a destruction,
In the middle of the remains
Of what was a battle field.
I danced, and danced.
Till my feet bled,
Till my legs gave in,
Till the sky was dusky red,
Till the enemies feared my power,
And fled.

I dreamt I was dancing,
In the middle of a destruction,
Beneath a torn moon,
The stars cried, we confused it as rain,
It is all a mere illusion,
A delusion created for us,
We truly do own nothing,
Not even our own bodies,
It belongs to the ground.

We simply seek and search,
A moon that’s full,
In one piece, exploding with energy,
A sky so bright, thriving with life,
That showed no cracks and does not leak.
Perfection, does not need to be unique,
Simply undamaged,
A sky that will camouflage our flaws,
Even guilts, shames, cries, and evils.
Upheavals.

No soul is perfect, or pure,
Bury your conscience,
We are all a little fucked up,
Nothing makes sense anymore,
Similar to this poem,
Because we are all a little broken,
From words that was spoken,
But more from words that were unspoken.

Let your skin soak in my tears,
Watch quietly,
As I undress to the world,
I watched the white tunnel disappear,
A failed attempt, once again,
My saviour. Is he really a saviour?
Now you can kiss me goodbye,
Without any spoken words.