My book review of 'Conversations with Friends' by Sally Rooney

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