February 2, 2020

I love reading multiple books by the same author in close succession.

As with Conversations With Friends, her characters are so fully formed; complicated and flawed like we all are.

Great storytelling.

January 12, 2020

I found myself on the bus home with NO BOOK having finished off 'We Were Liars' earlier in the day.

I've been keen to read Sally Rooney for awhile as I've heard good things about her so I quickly downloaded the library ebook of 'Conversations with Friends' on my work phone.

Great read, wonderful multi-faceted characters and sharp dialogue which is often, uniquely, woven in to the narrative.

December 11, 2019

Buzz: Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, shortlisted for Book of the Year at Waterstones and Foyles, and sold more than 23,000 copies in hardback. Being made into a Channel 4 show.

Queenie should be a pretty ordinary book.

It features a pretty ordinary girl, living a pretty ordinary life, with an ordinary circle of friends. Her challenges will be starkly familiar to many of us; from the feet-in-stirrups gynaecological examination opening, to the political frustrations, to the anxiety attacks. Many, too, will recognise the everyday realities of being a black British woman living an everyday London life. But familiar in life, is not the same as familiar in print. I can only imagine it might be a bittersweet shock the first time you see life reflected plainly in mainstream art. The joy of recognition undercut by the knowledge that that joy has been previously absent.

So many simple,...

January 30, 2018

Sally Rooney grew up in County Mayo, and started writing her debut novel Conversations With Friends while studying for a masters in American Literature at Trinity College, Dublin. Seven publishers bid for the rights to it, and it is now Faber’s lead debut title for 2017.

Presented from the point of view of 21-year-old Frances, the novel follows four main characters: friends and exes Frances and Bobbi, and an older married couple Nick and Melissa.

From the publisher’s blurb: As their relationships unfold, in person and online, they discuss sex and friendship, art and literature, politics and gender, and, of course, one another. Twenty-one-year-old Frances is at the heart of it all, bringing us this tale of a complex ménage-à-quatre and her affair with Nick, an older married man.

Those Precious Stolen Moments gave it ★★★★☆  - "Witty, wry and full of the tenderness, viciousness and pain of fri...

May 25, 2017

Buzz: Sold in a seven-way auction. Faber's lead debut title for 2017. Bookseller's Book of the Month

READ AN INTERVIEW WITH SALLY ROONEY HERE.

That the Bechdel Test for movies even exists has to be one of the more depressing minor details of modern times. If you’ve never come across it, it’s a way of evaluating a film’s representation of women using these criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man. High standards, indeed. And yet, more movies than you would think fail miserably.

But we all know Hollywood is crass. Whereas the world of literature is so much more engaged, interesting, broad and inclusive. Literature breathes through inclusivity; rare would be the mainstream fiction novel that would fail the test, surely? So, why is it still surprising to see two beautiful, young, female characters intelligently, ent...

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