Monday, December 6, 2021

Beautiful World, Where Are You - a book review


 Critics love Sally Rooney, and I've been working on it. She's considered a writer for "this young" generation. Admittedly, I am older than her target audience, but I do appreciate good writing. I found her first two books interesting and yet annoying. Excellent writing, but her characters were not likeable and rather whiny. Strictly my opinion. 

However, third book's a charm. Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney kept me interested and engaged. Alice, a novelist; Felix, a warehouse worker; Eileen, an editor; and Simon, a handsome lawyer; are a mix of new and old friends with complicated histories. These folks have some depth to them.  Back blurb - They are still young - but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they worry about sex and friendship and the world they live in.

p.18 Alice:  I'm feeling a little loose and dissociative. It's April and the leaves aren't drifting. 

p.95 Alice: If novelists wrote honestly about their own lives, no one would read novels.

p.162 Eileen: On writing notes in a daily diary -  There was something delicate about living like that - like I was an instrument, and the world touched me and reverberated inside me. 

The characters felt very real and raw. They were concerned about today's world and yet not sure what to do about it. They were seeking stronger roots, perhaps even starting families. 

Back blurb: Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

Words to ponder as we read our news, continue our lives, and worry about the future. Solid novel Ms. Rooney. 

5 comments:

  1. Hi Joanne - yes, I haven't read any of her books and one day will get round to getting one. Thanks for the review and notes on the book - I'll be keeping an open mind. Cheers Hilary

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    1. indeed - I've been conflicted on her writing. It's good and I want to like it more. Her characters are not always pleasant, but that's what makes her work very realistic. She's rather brutal at times. This book has more redeeming moments. Wish I could just lend it to you...save you some money. Cheers

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  2. I haven't read any of her books yet. Maybe I should start with this one?

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    1. Yes, I feel like I'm doing you a favor by making it through the first two and getting used to her style. I'd be curious if you liked it.

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