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Publisher's Summary

A sharply intelligent novel about friendship, lust, jealousy, and the unexpected complications of adulthood in the 21st century

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' 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' intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment.

Written with gemlike 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.

©2017 Sally Rooney (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Readers who enjoyed Belinda McKeon's Tender and Caitriona Lally's Eggshells will enjoy this exceptional debut." ( Library Journal )
"[Sally] Rooney captures the mood and voice of contemporary women and their interpersonal connections and concerns without being remotely predictable.... A clever and current book about a complicated woman and her romantic relationships." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Stuck inside a 21-year-old's head--not much fun

Any additional comments?

I really struggled with my basic dislike of the main character, almost gave up on the book halfway through, but forced myself to listen to the end. There were some good moments in the book, the author has a great eye for details, uses language well, but oh my goodness, her level of micro-detailed self-involvement and fascination with her own interior process grows old very quickly, and becomes, for this reader anyway, claustrophobic to the point of near asphyxiation. I was so glad when the book ended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Interesting point of view; glad I listened!

From my 60-year old vantage point, I found this book a stimulating exploration of a world outside my own. Heard an interview with the author on The New Yorker podcast, and the book was as interesting as she is.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Only read it for book club

I only finished this because we read it in my book club. I felt the story and main character to be exhausting and annoying. Way too many unnecessary words and descriptions. The amount of things that moved the story forward could have been conveyed in about 1/4 of the time. Ugh.

The performance was fun to hear an Irish accent, but the way it was performed was robotic and dispassionate.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesomely sad and altogether great

It's a beautiful and unpretentious book about infatuation and attachment, about feelings which are not governed by morale or ethical principles, about times when we just cannot fight them.
The narration is amazing, as well.

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  • Wendy
  • San Luis Obispo, CA
  • 02-07-18

In the End

It was sudden, but I loved the ending. It made up for a lot I disliked throughout the book. It made me glad I finished it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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slow start forgettable

I might not be the demographic for this novel I thought it started very slowly and I wasn't really that interested in the characters or their actions it was easy to listen to and finish but didn't leave a lasting impression.

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Youthfulness is its greatest strength and weakness

It portrays youth authentically, at times beautifully and poignantly, but also feels juvenile and amateurish...

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  • melissa
  • Vero Beach, FL, United States
  • 10-14-17

great story

I loved the character development and eventual growth. They're a group of very knowledgeable 21 year olds. wise beyond their years... however... experience is invaluable

0 of 1 people found this review helpful