Conversations with Friends : What makes everyone want to be Sally Rooney?

Sally Rooney’s "Conversations with Friends" landed on BBC Three and other streaming platforms on May 15th 2022, launching Sally Rooney into another worldwide hype surrounding her greatness.

Olivia Finlayson
1st June 2022
Image credit: @sallyrooneyofficial on Instagram
*Spoiler alert! Read this article at your own risk of plot spoilers and heart-melting hysterics* 

*insert hands praising the sky emoji*

Published in 2017, "Conversations with Friends" follows the lives of two couples who become interlinked through their connections between friendship, poetry, drama and through navigating the creative Irish social scene, leaving who they are destined to be with very ambiguous. 

Still from the series of "Normal People." Image credit: @hulu on Twitter

Rooney has published several short stories and 3 successful novels: "Normal People"," Conversations with Friends" and "Beautiful World, Where Are You"; all of which follow the lives of ‘normal’ (pun intended) people. From Marianne to Frances, Rooney relates to all whether it be feeling like an outsider, loving someone you shouldn’t, family struggles or the challenge of finding individual identity. From Connell to Nick, Rooney presents relatable experiences of the downside of popularity, the struggles within marriage, the intensity of attraction and aspiring futures.  

Rooney’s books are notable through their often colourful covers and her notable writing style, often causing controversy: the lack of speech marks. However, this doesn’t stop the fiery and heartfelt conversations between characters still drag a knife through the reader’s heart. 

Normal People: 

Here we follow Marianne and Connell. Very opposing ends of the school social system. Connell is popular, so much so that his relationship with Marianne is not worthy enough for public knowledge. However, we see Connell protect unpopular and socially unconventional Marianne as she deals with family issues, identity struggles and the transition from school to college. Rooney pulls on our heartstrings as we wish for this relationship to break free from secrecy and for Marianne and Connell to rediscover each other through their journeys through the education system. 

Both Rooney's novels "Normal People" and "Conversations with Friends" have been made into TV series.

Conversations with Friends: 

Rooney’s newest adaptation of her novel, "Conversations with Friends" follows two couples: Frances and Bobbi and Melissa and Nick. With Frances and Bobbi just students and poets and Melissa and Nick as older successful artists within a literary and drama-filled world, the two girls become mixed up in their lifestyle and marriage. Rooney constantly teases us with the possibility of Frances and Nick becoming something more than a meaningless affair and a bit of fun. 

Beautiful World, Where Are You: 

In likeness to "Conversations with Friends", "Beautiful World, Where Are You" follows four individuals who desire each other, getting together and breaking apart. Rooney again presents a depiction of real life. She does not depict an idyllic world; she depicts the world we live in and how we navigate through it and all its obstacles.

In all novels, Rooney tempts the reader with references and depictions of a realistic sex life, celebrating everything from the awkward to the desirable. Here, we see Rooney’s sense of wit and humour transform from the pages into the minds of the readers. 

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