Written by Khushi Arora @lonevixen_ka
"It's funny the decisions you make because you like someone, and then your whole life is different. I think we're at that weird age where life can change a lot from small decisions." // Connell
Normal People follows the lives of Connell and Marianne who have sides nobody knows of. They pretend not to know each other, but they start connecting when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne's house. A year later in college, their conspicuous sides surface as they discover themselves and veer in and out of each other's daily lives, not willing to either let go or get attached completely.
In this electric masterpiece set in Ireland, Sally Rooney lays bare how important it is to manage expectations and communicate in a relationship, even when it may not be defined. Connell and Marianne try to pull one off without doing so, but only end up hurting each other. Rooney is known to capture the complexities of relationships. She shows, though not in the most conventional ways, that if you really love someone, be honest with what you want and what they mean to you.
Regardless of the reviews you may have read, Normal People isn't for everybody. You'll either hate it, or you'll love it. One could argue that Rooney could've presented the subtleties in a more widely acceptable manner, but one shouldn't. It's the raw incompleteness of the story which makes it so beautiful.
If there's one reason which places Normal People deep in my heart, it's this: The TV show adaptation lives up to the book. For some the show streaming on Hulu, even exceeds the book. True, some scenes are ugly and disturbing and everyone's calling it a sad summer story. But by the end, I kinda felt happy for how far Connell and Marianne had come, despite the fact that they both could've done so much more to save the relationship. So, pick it up if you're a sucker for aesthetic, imperfect yet heart wrenching love stories. And do make sure, to make a moment and protect yours.