Regular price: £18.79

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Basket

Summary

Frances is a 21-year-old college student in Dublin; she performs at spoken word events with her best friend and ex-lover, Bobbi. When they are profiled by journalist Melissa, they enter an orbit of beautiful houses and raucous dinner parties. Initially unimpressed, Frances begins an affair with Nick, Melissa's husband, which gives way to an unexpected intimacy. Desperate to reconcile her desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances's intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a disorienting way of living from moment to moment.

©2017 Sally Rooney (P)2017 W.F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Forensically smart and pin-sharp witty, this is a book to cherish and a writer to fall in love with." (Thomas Morris, author of We Don't Know What We're Doing)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    107
  • 4 Stars
    74
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    12

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    139
  • 4 Stars
    58
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    69
  • 3 Stars
    39
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    16
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best character development I have read in a long time

An honest, modern depiction of how non-binary relationships are. Couldn’t stop listening and will have a real hole in my audio-life where these characters were!

The narration is so melodically Irish and a perfect cast for Frances’ voice I think.

Will read again, and probably something different away each time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

well written

I liked it a lot, the story is good, the characters are peculiar and young but believable, and the thing I liked most was the beautiful voice of the narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Easy read; hard to swallow.

I really enjoyed this book despite finding almost every character irritating. I guess hats part of the point; none of them (or us) are supposed to be perfect. The political diatribe is a bit much to take though. Having said that, it reminded me of how I felt in my early twenties attending university - like I had to have strong opinions on everything. I think Rooney captures how complicated relationships can be and how hard it is to really know who you are.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Jilly Cooper working for Mills and Boon

I bought this as 'Single, Carefree Mellow' was intelligent and funny and this book appeared under the 'customers also bought' section in the recommendations. This book is neither. The heroine is a 21 year old virgin who has an affair with a man who is tall, wealthy (but is a marxist), devastatingly handsome, saintly and loves babies! His wife is conveniently a bitch (not that he would think of her like that) who had had several affairs (he hasn't had any of course) and who works away from home.
I gave up at that point as by continuing I might regurgitate breakfast. I really hope this is supposed to be satire, but suspect not.

9 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Unlikeable tedious characters

The book has given me something to rant about for 5 minutes but that’s about it. In my view the writing wasn’t clever as some reviews maintain, it was childish and banal. The total lack of emotional maturity in any of the characters was quite disturbing and I wondered if that was intentional or a trait actually shared by the author in creating these idiots.

The two student characters were just the type of pretentious, juvenile people I couldn’t stand at university. Spouting feminism and extreme left politics while failing to do anything true to those beliefs and then avoiding all responsibility for anything shit that happens. Quite believable for a couple of 20 somethings I suppose. But there was no character development on these themes as the book went on. Neither seemed to learn anything from their experiences.

The older couple were equally as ridiculous, the ‘gorgeous’ husband basically having his cake and eating it by having two women on the go at the same time. Then getting away with it by supposedly not really realising what he was doing and acting all sensitive and helpless/hapless. I wondered if the couple were exploiting the students to start with which would have been quite believable and given the book a bit more dramatic edge. But as the book went on it seemed that they were too pathetic to even be capable of this.

So all in all I wasn’t actually sure of the point of any of the characters or the story, not that there really is one!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Great performance of a not so great novel

I know, I know. Sally Rooney, the voice of her generation. Bright new star etc. Maybe - almost certainly - it's not you, it's me, as the self-absorbed protagonist of this novel would say. I am not her generation and Rooney has nothing to say to me.
The fundamental problem with this book, set in a post-crash Dublin, is that there is no one in it that you care about. Frances, Nick, Melissa and Bobbi are all, in their own way, unpleasant.. Will Nick and Frances get back together? What happens to Nick's relationship? Where is Melissa? What about Bobbi and Melissa? In the immortal words of Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, "I. Don't. Care." I was just waiting for it to finish.
I feel bad for being so harsh on Rooney. She certainly writes with a stripped-back flair. Not one for flowery adjectives, her prose is sharp, elegant and witty, but ultimately, like her characters, cold and unloveable.
On the plus side, Aoife McMahon reads the story beautifully and has a voice you can bathe in.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Relatable taboos

Keeps you glued to the story, Sally Rooney describes taboo topics in such a relatable manner, I wasn't even aware certain feelings could get described with words so accurately. I didn't like it that the narrator put on a different voice to mimic a man's voice, it was distracting. The Irish accent however is a bliss to listen to.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

interesting take on mental health/infidelity!

overall not a bad story. written from the point of Francis, and told about her immediate friendship's and family life and her interactions with them. leading into a story of infidelity, naively going through life, illnesses and touching on some self-harm.
I listened to this in 2 days, which is pretty unheard of for me. it was engaging and kept me hooked, but I wasn't blown away by any of it. I was slightly annoyed at Francis quite a lot of the time. there are also several areas touched upon and not explored heavily- the father for example, the mother is an almost bit part character.
I think this is a step up from a chick lit, but not a huge step, and as such isn't something I would rush to read anymore of by this author, not would I recommend it. but I can see that it fits the market quite well for a lot of people.
I have thought more about this and my review.... I'm not even sure I believe my own words of "overall not bad" it's more of a nothing rambling story or a petulent spoilt person that should know better by her age.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I couldn't tell you what the book was about.

This was a good book to listen to but the story was not all that. It was just words put together. I was disappointed with the ending as well. All in all this is a book you can get yourself lost in but dont expect to remember a word of it when you finish.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Compelling portrait of a woman, unaware

Completely absorbed by this modern tale of a socially, emotionally naive woman exploited by people masquerading as friends. Would have preferred a more satisfying ending. Exceptional writing.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anders
  • 17-09-17

Like a Japanese restaurant without sushi.

A story keeping you alert to the end. Unusual good dialogue. So many writers fails there! I loved that it stuck to one singular theme, without to much surroundings, descriptions or flashing topics semi-relevant to the core of the story.