Last week, I finished Sally Rooney’s third novel Beautiful World, Where Are You? I can’t say I loved it like I did Normal People — one of my favourite books of 2020 — but I still enjoyed this follow-up.
Rooney can transform even the most mundane of human interactions into engaging prose, whilst also making her characters feel like real people with frustrating but compelling flaws.
However, it wasn’t the relationships that most gripped me in this book, it was the emails protagonists Alice and Eileen exchanged every other chapter. Their emails are treated like the modern-day equivalent of letters that they are, and within them the two women discuss politics, religion, societal issues, among other things.
Whilst character interactions outside of these emails also pose interesting questions, I felt the real meat of the novel was in these emails.
So I decided to pull out 5 key points, with quotes, and share them here.