Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney
Published July 11th, 2017 by Hogarth
Genres Fiction, Contemporary
Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed, and darkly observant. A college student and aspiring writer, she devotes herself to a life of the mind–and to the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi, her best friend and comrade-in-arms. Lovers at school, the two young women now perform spoken-word poetry together in Dublin, where a journalist named Melissa spots their potential. Drawn into Melissa’s orbit, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman’s sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband. Private property, Frances believes, is a cultural evil–and Nick, a bored actor who never quite lived up to his potential, looks like patriarchy made flesh. But however amusing their flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy neither of them expect.As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally even with Bobbi. Desperate to reconcile herself to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances’s intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment.
Every time I read a contemporary fiction book, I remember why I typically don’t read contemporary fiction. The synopsis appealed to me because it is set in Europe and the story sounded like it could be an interesting one. This book centers around Frances and Bobbi, two young women who used to be in a relationship with each other, who then become involved with an older couple, Nick and Melissa. The book is told from Frances’s perspective and her character just seemed very back and forth to me. The author’s writing is pretty good, I just didn’t really like the characters and never really seemed to connect with them, which then makes me not as engaged with the plot line. I’m not sure if this was changed in the final printed version, as I received a print ARC, but there are no quotation marks. Mind you, I have read books like this in the past, such as The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood and I find it to be a bit distracting and hard to follow at times. Like I said, I didn’t really like any of the characters, which in turn makes me not really care much about the actual story. Frances is fairly self absorbed and selfish, which made me instantly not like her. And the whole dynamic which the relationships just wasn’t really my thing. And this book focuses heavily on the characters, their action and their relationships, instead of focusing on events in their lives. I do however believe that if you are a fan of contemporary fiction and like reading about complicated relationships, such as this, that you might enjoy this book.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book.