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Normal People

Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2,706 ratings)

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Summary

Winner of the Specsavers International Author of the Year 2018
Winner of the Costa Best Novel Award 2018

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. 

When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years. This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person's life - a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us - blazingly - about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. 

Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney's second novel breathes fiction with new life. A sparkling new novel from the Young Writer of the Year Award-winning author of Coversations with Friends.

©2018 Sally Rooney (P)2018 W. F. Howes Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It plunges under your skin and invades you.

There is nothing normal about this book; it is more than it should be, deep, turbulent, complex, still and full of subtleties that are furthermore making me think, making me worried for both of the main characters.

A beautiful exploration of human frailty and the mystery of love and dependency, grief and misunderstanding, happiness and acceptance of that good when you feel undeserving of it.

A fantastic read that has left me full of melancholic fillings; absolute magic.

31 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • AJ
  • 02-10-18

Loved it

I loved the characters (I’m missing them already) the story and the excellent narration. Beautiful.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Recommend ed

pride and prejudice for millennials. great story, very well read. very engaging and human what's not to like

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful

Beautifully observed, I found the characters believable and compelling. The use of language is wonderful, thoughtful, vivid description, not a word wasted. The narration is excellent throughout. This novel held my attention right to the end.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful novel

Exquisitely written, beautifully narrated. Came to this on a friends recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience- thanks to Audible for making my commute such a pleasure. This is a modern, honest, insightful, mature exploration of love, dependence and the ability to grow and help others grow. It’s not wrapped up with a bow. But it’s a great novel. And that narration is close to perfection. Highly recommended

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Subtly Spellbinding

A beautifully written account of the complexity of human connection.
Quiet and powerful, it perfectly tells the tale of boy meets girl, love, happiness, sadness. I fell equally as in love with Marianne as with Connel. Helped by the wonderful narration, I found myself at numerous points with goosebumps, wanting to shout at them both, feeling sad for their losses and also frustrated at their misunderstandings.
Sallys portrayal of trying to navigate the world as a young person is spot on, I only wish there was more!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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just perfect

really truly loved it
I miss the characters
the sort of book you can't put down but really don't want to finish

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Good

Good story but a very disappointing ending, thought at first my phone battery had just died, but no that was the end.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Beautifully read

The reading completely adds to the story but in an utterly unobtrusive way. Absolutely wonderful.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Not your usual boy meets girl

I really enjoyed the narration in this book, it was well chosen for the author and story.

The book itself hooked me in quickly and was different from your average boy meets girl romance. I did like it, along with the themes explored but felt that some areas were briefly touched upon and could have been pushed further... Maryanne's family dynamic for example, as well as mental health and young men.

One negative for me was the sexual intimations, but it didn't stop me continuing with the book - perhaps listening to the audio made this week more explicit.

I would read more from Rooney and also the narrator, Aoife McMahon.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynne
  • 20-12-18

Simply sublime

Bear with it. Just when you despair that there’s going to be another misstep, it turns. Entrancing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anthea
  • 17-06-19

Get comfortable

I enjoyed this book most when I was cosy and comfortable - to better deal with the discomfort and emotional turmoil of the characters. A thought provoking story about what shapes a person, from their economic circumstances to the people they’re surrounded by. I felt quite introspective over the course of the narrative, but most enjoyed the scenes of more physical observation which gave some much needed “real world” context to the lives of the protagonists.
Certainly not your average chick-lit but I think completely appropriate for the same audience. I’d recommend it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-02-19

Beautifully honest and compelling.

What a truly beautifully-honest read. Rooney highlights the intricacies of relationships in such a compelling way.