Conversations with Friends

by Sally Rooney
Conversations with Friends
by Sally Rooney

Despite seeing Sally Rooney awarded every prize going, and her books named as recommended reading everywhere, I couldn't bring myself to pick up her novels for some time.

A visit to a friend's bookshelves, and a holiday caused me to take the leap.

And I have to say that I enjoyed reading this book, and didn't want to put it down, rattling through the pages. But I didn't like any of the characters nor what happened to them. What's more the novel read as if it was a slightly veiled diary by the author.

Is this really an account of modern relationships, as it has been billed? I hope not as it felt very self-indulgent and hedonistic.

Frances and Bobbi were in a lesbian relationship but now are friends, sharing a flat. They deliver spoken word performances together, and meet the glamorous couple Melissa and Nick who seem to open up a new world of opportunity and contacts.

Frances seems very closed and aloof in all her interactions, but finds herself drawn to and then obsessed by Nick. They embark on a relationship and seem to feel no guilt or concern for how they are betraying a marriage and friendships. Strangely I didn't feel there was any passion or particular connection between the two.

There is little else to say. I felt quite disillusioned and saddened at the conclusion, and bewildered on why this is seen as such a masterpiece.

It is well written. I coudn't stop reading. But I hope this isn't a true reflection of modern relationships.

Review date: November 2019