Three books read by Connell and Marianne in Normal People

A big part of Marianne and Connell’s world is literature.  Books are mentioned, talked about and read all the way through the novel.  Their shared love of writing is also what bonds them and makes them different from the people around them.  Here are three of the books mentioned in the novel that you can download now from our cloudLibrary.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro tells the story of three young orphans living in Hailsham, a mysterious and oppressive boarding school, where all is not as it seems.  A tender coming of age story and a gripping mystery, intensified by a love triangle between the three main characters and their gradual uncovering of the sinister reality of their origins.  Marianne reads this while struggling with her own surroundings.

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

The Golden Noteboook is the story of a divorced novelist, Anna Wulf, trying to find her identity and make sense of her inner turmoil through writing in a set of different coloured notebooks.  It has been called “inner space” fiction as it focuses on the characters inner life as a mirror for societal breakdown.   Not a likely choice for a typical teenage boy, but for Connell, who finds expresses himself through writing rather than words, and who struggles with his own inner turmoil, it is a fitting choice.

Emma by Jane Austen

When asked at college to name a divisive female protagonist, Connell names the rich, clever and high-spirited Emma Woodhouse.  Austen herself described Emma as a heroine that “no one but myself will like”.  Could she be reminding Connell of anyone…?

Fiona, Brompton Library

If you would like to read any of these books,  including Normal People, they are available here on cloudLibrary.  You can log in using a computer and download the app to start reading.  You just need your library membership number to log in.  Not a member?  Don’t worry, click here to join our library service.