Sally Rooney’s latest book, Wonderful World, Where Are You? is both magnificent and brilliant. I couldn’t put it down, and it must rank as one of my best reads ever, certainly No 1 this year.
Essentially a love story about two couples, all friends, who see the world as a troubled place with a doomed future, and don’t seem able or want to cement their relationships. Set in Dublin and the surrounding countryside, the author describes the various locations with a beautiful, poetic-like style and breath-taking prose. Her description of Felix and Alice, Eileen and Simon, their lives, and their tortured relationships is both masterful and compelling. She’s in a class of her own.
I enjoyed her previous two books enormously – Conversations with Friends and Normal People – but for me, this is her best. Appealing mainly to millennials – myself well past that age grouping – the book depicts emphatically how the millennials feel about the world and their despair as to where it’s heading. My sympathy!
At times Rooney’s writing was so stunning I gasped out loud. It took my breath away. I greatly admired the intensity and way she described the agonising relationships and then brought them all together in a satisfying and uplifting ending. She ranks, in my opinion, amongst the best English language authors of all time, writing in a refreshingly new and cogent style.
My recent publications
Otto and Frankie, my latest novel, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter.
Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit.
Life in four stories
Recently I donated a substantial sum to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) from the proceeds of this little book of shorts. ICRC help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.
Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.
By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.