As the world was coming to terms with the ‘new normal’ the pandemic had created in April of 2020 – lockdowns, Zoom parties and a lot of walks around the block – the TV adaption of Sally Rooney’s book Normal People was quietly released on BBC. The love story of Marianne and Connell awakened our cold, dead, pandemic-ridden hearts and within days, the show’s stars, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, became household names – and so too did Connell’s Chain.
No show – or book – had perfectly depicted millennial first love quite like Normal People, which interwove class dynamics, mental health and abuse into the character’s arcs with a poise not often shown in the usual run-of-the-mill romantic storylines.
Of course, prior to releasing the novel that would have women everywhere fantasising over a gold chain, Rooney, who is not yet 30 (she was 27 when she released Normal People), already had one novel under her belt: Conversations with Friends. Much like Normal People, Conversations with Friends is about tortured relationships, young love and miscommunication, and some would say that it’s an even better read than its successor.
Now, in news that’ll make 2021 that little bit better, Rooney has announced that she has a third novel on the way, set for release this September. The forthcoming book, titled Beautiful World, Where Are You, just like her first two, is both set in Dublin, Ireland, and is – thankfully – again centered around love.
According to the New York Times, the novel follows four characters – “a novelist named Alice, her best friend Eileen, and their respective love interests, Felix and Simon” – and their attempts to balance their love and work lives.
As Mitzi Angel from publishing house Farrar, Straus and Giroux added, the characters will also be “contemplating a world in which the future is very uncertain for them — what’s the world of work going to look like, what’s going to happen to the planet, what are the politics we are all living through.” Sounds just about perfect.
More to come.