Why we love everything about the millennial romance ‘Normal People’

In light of a New Year’s resolution to rediscover the love for reading I had as a pre-teen, I decided to start looking for accessible reads to tackle in 2021.

By Rhea Swain

In light of a New Year’s resolution to rediscover the love for reading I had as a pre-teen, I decided to start looking for accessible reads to tackle in 2021. I had watched the BBC Three and Hulu series “Normal People” when it came out in the spring of 2020 and found the raw realism of the romance refreshing.

A few weeks ago, I read the book, which was first published in 2018 by Irish novelist Sally Rooney. Surprisingly, there is little distinction between the heart-wrenching love story on paper and on-screen.

Rooney is a 29-year-old author and screenwriter, who has earned both critical and commercial success since her debut novel “Conversations with Friends” in 2017. Rooney has been hailed as “the first great millennial novelist” for her ability to make readers think deeply and feel intensely about their fragile humanity and relationships. Continue reading

Normal People is a masterclass in on screen nudity

Normal People’s treatment of nudity and sex is a gateway to so much more .

By Abby Robinson

Sally Rooney’s hand is felt throughout Normal People, the BBC Three and Hulu co-production based on her critically acclaimed novel of the same name. The characters move and breathe as they do in all 266 pages of the book, the story of Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) as captivating on screen as it in Rooney’s written word.

Even if you didn’t know that the Irish writer was an executive producer or co-wrote six episodes – Edgar-Jones described her as “very involved” and “overseeing everything” to Digital Spy and other press – you’d know anyway, because it shows.

Normal People is beautiful. It sweeps you up in its arms, capturing the very essence of the book – that all-encompassing love between Marianne and Connell that transcends the physical, the pair fascinated by the way each thinks and how they see the world.

It’s a series that would, without the perfect casting, have fallen flat. But Edgar-Jones and Mescal are breathtakingly good and there’s no other pair on earth that could have exceeded their performances.

normal people
BBC/HULU

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Review: “Normal People” Sally Rooney’s love story is a small-screen triumph

This BBC/Hulu adaptation of the hit novel about the on-again, off-again relationship between two Irish teenagers captures the beauty and brutality of first love perfectly

Inevitably, people will come to the television adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People in one of two ways: as avid fans of the book, which to a certain demographic and sensibility has become tantamount almost to a sacred text, or as detractors to whom the Irish wunderkind’s work reads as barely more than top flight YA and who have been mystified by the plaudits, awards and – in Normal People’s case – Man Booker longlisting it has garnered.

In the end it won’t matter. The rendering of the on-again-off-again relationship between sixth-form and then university students Marianne and Connell for the small screen, by Rooney herself with Alice Birch, is near-perfect from whichever direction you come at it. Continue reading