Normal People

Tuesday 27 August 2019

“She closes her eyes. He probably won’t come back, she thinks. Or he will, differently. What they have now they can never have back again. But for her the pain of loneliness will be nothing to the pain that she used to feel, of being unworthy. He brought her goodness like a gift and now it belongs to her. Meanwhile his life opens out before him in all directions at once. They’ve done a lot of good for each other. Really, she thinks, really. People can really change one another.

You should go, she says. I’ll always be here. You know that.” 
― Sally Rooney, Normal People

Have you ever finished a book, and then started it again the second you finished? I hadn't either. Why would anyone do that when there are a thousand other books to be read?

I devoured Normal People and then I devoured it again — the second time with a highligher. (Who does THAT?) and when people ask me why, I don't have an answer. I don't know why Normal People is the book I needed to read at the exact right moment I read it, but it was. And when people ask me what it's about, I can't really explain. What struck me most about it is it's a book about the people who fit in the margins — the people who grow you and change you but never really belong to your life's main narrative. The people who exist between friendships and relationships, but don't fit the definitions of either.

Everyone is talking about Normal People, so I know I'm not alone. But it's special, and it's stayed with me all summer. I keep reading the quotations I've highlighted over and over again. I think I might read it again.
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