Beautiful World, Where Are You

Sally Rooney

fiction | contemporary | adult

First published 2021

photo of me holding a copy of the book, Beautiful World Where Are You by Sally Rooney





"I will probably continue to make poor life decisions and suffer recurrent depressive episodes."



Best friends, Alice and Eileen, have know each other since college. Alice is a successful novelist, currently staying in a house in the Irish countryside, recovering from a mental health crisis. She meets Felix for a date in a bar, takes him back to her house to show him around, but in the awkwardness, he leaves. She writes to Eileen, who is an editorial assistant living in Dublin. Their correspondence is interspersed throughout the novel, and the two friends discuss topics such as, far-right politics, the consumerist society they live in, the environment and many other philosophical subjects. Alice asks Eileen to come and visit her.

Alice and Felix meet again and go to a party together where Felix gets irritated by Alice's celebrity-status. Alice invites Felix on a work trip to Rome and he agrees to accompany her. Eileen and her friend Simon had sex years ago, but nothing further ever transpired between them. One night, Eileen phones Simon and they flirt with each other, eventually masturbating together over the phone. The two meet up later in the book and begin having casual sex together. This eventually blossoms into a real relationship and the two are together, expecting a baby at the end of the book.

Meanwhile, Alice and Felix have also begun a relationship of sorts, and when Eileen and Simon go to visit Alice in the countryside, all four characters are together. At the end of the novel, Eileen and Alice write to each other again. They are in the midst of the Covid pandemic, and both women seem to have found a type of peace with themselves and the world around them.

My Verdict: I'm such a huge fan of Sally Rooney. There's no other writer that I can think of who can get inside people's heads and put their thoughts on paper the way she does. I have read three of her novels now: Conversations With Friends, Normal People, and Beautiful World, Where Are You, and each book follows a very similar pattern. There is always a relationship, between a man and a woman, that is on-again, off-again, eventually on, when the characters realise that they love each other. I don't mean to imply that they're boring, on the contrary. They are some of the best novels I've read in the past few years, and the pure human emotion that Rooney manages to convey with her writing makes her books so very appealing.

Review Award | 5/5 - One of my favourite books of 2021!

Posted 22.10.2021

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