Title: Conversations with Friends
Author: Sally Rooney
Page Count/Review Word Count: 330
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book for free to review as part of my position on the Young Writer of the Year Award shadow panel. Click here to find out more about that.
I got super excited when I started this book because the characters were into stand up poetry, and I run a spoken word night of my own every month in the town I live in. It’s certainly true that several of the characters here are writers or poets of some kind or another and so we get to see a glimpse of the literary world, but that turned out to be more of a secondary plot behind the overall story.
The problem for me was that I struggled to relate to the main story line, which is about a young woman who has an affair with an older, married actor. The way that the characters acted was consistent with their personalities, but it made me dislike them. And I feel bad about saying that because much of their dialogue is taken from the author’s conversations with her own friends – hence the title.
The good news is that it’s well-written, and the fact that it’s written in first person actually adds to the story line and doesn’t just feel like it’s been done for the sake of it. The bad news is that I struggled to relate to it, but I think that’s partly because I’m not the target audience.
I usually don’t bother to look up reviews for books I read, but I did for this one and I found them to be pretty accurate. It’s a little predictable and it’s drawn out at times, but it’s the kind of book that might suit you well if you’re sitting on a beach. And while I gave it a 4* rating, I rounded up from 3.5.