Beautiful World, Where Are You Book Review

Like most other readers around the world, I absolutely devoured both Normal People and Conversations with Friends before watching the TV adaptation of Normal People and – like much of the world’s female population – obsessed with Conor’s silver became chain. And so I was delighted to find that Rooney – the thirty-year-old Irish writer who can’t go wrong in the eyes of the literary world – was coming out with a new book. That it was released during the Sydney lockdown made it all the cuter. And so, as soon as I got my hands on a copy, I cleared the reading plan, left my cell phone in another room, and lost myself between the pages of Beautiful World, Where Are You.

Beautiful world where are you book review

While words don’t quite adequately express my admiration for Rooney’s books, I can only try to explain how much I loved Beautiful World, Where Are You. An absolute reading delight that gave me a much-needed dose of escapism from the sunny streets of Bondi to a rickety farmhouse in Ireland and the cobbled streets of Rome; in Beautiful World, Where Are You, we follow Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon as they navigate the intricacies and nuances of flourishing relationships and longstanding friendships.

Alice – a successful novelist who found both fame and critical acclaim at a young age – meets warehouse worker Felix on a dating app after returning to Ireland from New York; while her close friend Alice begins a romantic liaison with Simon, whom she has known since childhood. And what follows is an intimate exploration of the stupid and imperfect; the ups and downs of the everyday and the ordinary, while the characters look for the profound and the beautiful in their everyday encounters.

Written in her signature, thoughtful, and empathetic prose, in Beautiful World, Where Are You, Rooney goes everything from privilege to class differences to social definitions of success and how to find hope in a seemingly despondent world to perhaps her best book yet deliver.

Beautiful world where are you summary

Alice, a writer, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he would like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend Eileen overcomes a breakup and flirts again with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon are still young – but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they deceive each other, they come together, they break apart. They have sex, they care about sex, they care about their friendships and the world they live in. Do you stand in the last lighted room before the darkness and testify something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

Buy Beautiful World, Where Are You at Bookshop.org, Book Depository or Waterstones.

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I loved that on The Cut: Why is the sex in Sally Rooney’s books so good?

Sally Rooney biography

Sally Rooney was born in 1991 and lives in Dublin, where she graduated from Trinity College. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Dublin Review, The White Review, The Stinging Fly, and the Winter Pages anthology.

More books by Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney has also written Normal People and Conversations with Friends.

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