Sally Rooney’s Normal People

Brava, Sally Rooney! I’m taken by how actions are not acted out by the ends of sentences. And by how past and present co-exist easily within ten to fifteen words (though what does that mean for subjectivity anyway?). But there is also a quality of unabashed sentimentality, love-story-like elements. Probably to propel the plot forward? I’m expecting this wry, off-kilter statement about modern — or even ancient — love out of joint, and then the telling veers back into a “love story” timbre. At first the story oscillates between both lovers’ fears of unrequitedness, but later it crescendoes in a…

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From my novel Love’s Garden, forthcoming September 2020!

Dear Future Readers, I can’t wait to share the whole novel with you, but here’s a tidbit Chapter 3: Love is an enigma, but marriage is serious business. Girls can only leave home when they marry. This is well known. Any girl or young woman who does otherwise is, of course, ruined. Before marriage girls have to wait somewhere between bliss and hell. All girls. Prem and the raggedy girl who once loved her included. There hadn’t been many cozy spots for Prem between hell and bliss in the village in 1914, in the days before all the marrying started,…