Beautiful World, Where Are You (Hardcover, 2021, Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 4 stars

Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d …

the writing! but the characters!

4 stars

I don’t have to like the characters in the books I read (and actually as a former EngLit prof, find that way of reading for likeability or relatedness to be super limiting). But having said that, with every single Rooney novel, I struggle with frustration and wanting to shake the characters, especially the young women. I think this is probably the point of it all? This is gorgeously written, especially the third-person chapters describing the characters’ actions etc and the cinematic looking-at-ness of those sections (she tells you insistently what it looks like the characters are feeling from their actions rather than telling you how they feel). But I still wondered the whole time, as I have with Normal and Conversations, why I was reading it.