Listening to Normal People on audio was not what I expected. I was drawn in almost immediately by Connell and Marianne’s story, and the accent of the narrator, presumably Irish as the story is set in Ireland, kept me hooked. I found chores to do in order to spend more time listening to huge chunks of the audiobook, and finished it in just a few days.
Connell and Marianne are drawn together and apart over and over again. They are incredibly romantic towards each other, and terrible communicators it seems. They continue to ebb and flow in their relationship, but their feelings for one another seem never to vary much at all. They each go through periods of loneliness, depression, isolation, and disappointment, although never at the same time, and that initially creates greater distance between them but ultimately draws them together again.
The entirety of this novel is a huge study on interpersonal relationships. Very little of the book is punctuated by side characters, certainly none that I got to know well enough to have anything to say about them. However, the story continued its steady course onwards, and I was fully along for the ride. I could see that this book may not be for everyone, as there’s little in the way of action, and the reader’s only companions are Connell and Marianne, but this book really worked for me. I felt completely intrigued by their journey, and it provided ample time for self-reflection of my own.