Conversations With Friends

Conversations With Friends

A Novel

Book - 2017
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Frances is a cool-headed and darkly observant young woman, vaguely pursuing a career in writing while studying in Dublin. Her best friend and comrade-in-arms is the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi. At a local poetry performance one night, Frances and Bobbi catch the eye of Melissa, a well-known photographer, and as the girls are then gradually drawn into Melissa's world, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman's sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband, Nick. However amusing and ironic Frances and Nick's flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy, and Frances's friendship with Bobbi begins to fracture. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally, terribly, with Bobbi. Desperate to reconcile her inner life to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances's intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment. Written with gem-like precision and marked by a sly sense of humor, Conversations with Friends is wonderfully alive to the pleasures and dangers of youth, and the messy edges of female friendship. --Amazon
Publisher: London : Hogarth, 2017.
Edition: First United States edition.
ISBN: 9780451499059
Branch Call Number: FICTION ROONEY
Characteristics: 309 p. ; 22 cm.


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May 24, 2020

Highly recommended by John Doyle, The Globe & Mail

Mar 01, 2020


Feb 20, 2020

Ah, young people. I don’t get people my age and I don’t get people older or younger. And I don’t get fiction. But this is the next big thing so why not? You can always stop reading if it’s too weird.

But it wasn’t! Or it was but in a compelling way, like you wanted to find out what happened to the characters. Which is why you read in the first place. However, characters who aren’t exactly compelling or relatable are usually not easy to attach to and take an interest in, so rarely will you take the time to keep reading. Especially when the writing is good but not delicious, clean but not Hemingway, interesting but not as interesting as most my group texts with other moms.

It went by so quickly, I guess I must have really enjoyed it. Still not sure.

Feb 05, 2020

This text dwells on some of the same themes as Rooney's second novel, Normal People, and certainly has a similar community of characters, but I found that rather than detract from the power of either novel, these connections lead to a synergistic effect. Several readers in writing reviews of this text seem caught up in their disapproval of Conversations' main character, Frances; but it is worthwhile to set aside one's value systems to listen to the "conversations" in Conversations with Friends. Not only do these conversations suggest we might pick at our assumptions of how to do things right and find that interrogation fruitful, Rooney's text also underscores the immense value of honest communication and friendship. In this text the main character, Frances, is a university student hampered in her ability to define herself in relation to others partly because her emotional development was stunted by the effort to seal herself off from the daily chaos of living with an alcoholic father. Rooney's text asserts that entering adulthood with the kind of shell Frances has built around herself prevents her from making honest or meaningful communication with others, and because having healthy social networks is key to happiness, Frances simply isn't happy. I'm simplifying here, but in short I was stunned by the originality and intelligence with which Rooney explores the vital significance of our conversations with friends.

Feb 04, 2020

I did not like this book. Frances was a very unlikable character, and as a millennial woman myself, she still seemed very unrelatable — to be so reclusive and withheld, even among her friends, she didn't seem human at all. I was also upset we didn't get to read any of her writing, just her IMs... I mean she is a writer?

I've read Rooney's Normal People and her style of writing and the characters she creates seem so bland and could easily have been recycled throughout her works. I tried so very hard to finish this book, but once the characters returned from France near the end, I decided to return it, thinking: Why would I care to find out?

Jan 18, 2020

Well talk about a lot of unlikeable characters!!! I only finished this trash because it was a book club selection. I'm not saying that the author can't's just that her subject matter is trash.

Jan 16, 2020

I am sorry, I was not a fan. Maybe I am too old to appreciate the poly relationships or the millennial dark view. The girl needed counseling bad. I am 52 so the whining got on my nerves. I read it with an open mind for “read harder” challenge for book riot website.

Dec 28, 2019

Meh but really liked the other book by her called Normal People

Dec 06, 2019

Self involved pitiful skank. Not my kind of main character

Dec 02, 2019

Loved this book! Frances is a frustrating and honestly annoying narrator which makes you more invested in the characters. I loved the simplicity of the story - because of course the most simple stories are the most complex.

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Jul 03, 2017

Lights sparkled on the river and buses ran past like boxes of light, carrying faces in the windows.


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