"[A] novel that demands to be read compulsively, in one sitting."—The Washington Post
The demand is easily met. 'Normal People' is a quick and enjoyable read that explores the depth of personal relationships with the passage of time. The story is about Connell and Marianne, two people who grew up in a small town and are at the same time, from completely different worlds. Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a complete loner. These two are connected by Connell's mother being employed by Marianne's mother. When they come together, despite their class and social divide, it is awkward and beautiful, something that will change both their lives begins.
They both go to Trinity College in Dublin where their social classes are suddenly reversed. Marianne is popular with a large group of friends, while Connell is on the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at the university, they circle around each other they come together then move apart but always remain circling. Marianne veers into self-destruction while Connell searches for meaning elsewhere, but their magnetism ensures that they each confront how far they are willing to go for each other. It is one of my favorite stories about friendship and love. It takes the reader from the first conversation to the years beyond, and it has two characters that are so relatable that anyone who reads this novel will feel it in their heart when they try to stay apart but find that they can't.
Hulu Original Series with 91% Rotten Tomatoes score and Emmy nominated
The show, with some differences, is a truthful account of the book and extremely well done with the efforts of lead actors Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal. The casting was perfect in who portrayed the characters, and the soundtrack contains great songs (can be found on Spotify). The scenery is fitting with the story taking place in Ireland with locations also in Italy and Sweden. I highly recommend both show and movie, Marianne and Connell's relationship is one of the best and most memorable in present-day fiction.