In school, Marianne and Connell pretend not know each other. Connell is popular, plays on the school football team. Marianne, keeps to herself, tends to be quite lonely, and is considered odd by her peers. They form a connection that starts after Connell picks up his mother from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house. Connell wants to keep this connection a secret which Marianne understands.
A year later they find their lives intwining again, now both at University in Dublin. Life has swapped for them, Marianne finds her footing in a new social setting while Connell now struggles to make friends and manage his anxiety. Their connection is still there, growing stronger and more important to them everyday without either of them really noticing.
I picked up this book because I was interested in the new Hulu series of the same name, and had wanted to read the book first. (That’s just the type of person I am). The last couple of books I have read have been very big event, high action, high stakes novels, so it was nice to read this and calm everything down. I really loved these two characters, and often had to put the book down because I would get frustrated with them. Like just TALK TO EACH OTHER, and so many of your problems would be solved. That being said, both Connell and Marianne feel fully fleshed out and people you would encounter on the street. I connected with both Marianne and Connell, suffering from anxiety and depression myself. I identified deeply with Connell and could feel glimmers of myself in him. They way he struggled in social settings, never sure if he was doing the right thing.
It’s definitely a great read, and makes me interested in checking out Sally Rooney’s other works. Now I’m gonna go binge watch the series! (Paul Mescal am I right?!).