Sally Rooney, author of Normal People, will be releasing her third novel in September.
Rooney’s UK publisher Faber announced on Tuesday that the novel will be titled Beautiful World, Where Are You. It will follow the story of friends Alice and Eileen, as they navigate their twenties and an uncertain political and economic climate.
Faber has announced that there will be two exclusive special editions of the book. They will be available at Waterstones and some independent bookshops.
The novel is a story of “friendship and sex, art and faith, power and love,” according to the publisher who acquired the book, Alex Bowler. Familiar themes for any Rooney fan, it has the potential to be one of the biggest books of the year, following on from the critically acclaimed Normal People BBC adaptation.
Is this going to be another rehashing of Rooney’s formula for success? Her 2017 debut novel, Conversations With Friends, was a fast success, named book of the year by the Telegraph, the Sunday Times, and the Observer. Publications gave even more accolades to Normal People. But the premise of Rooney’s latest installment – the tumultuous love lives and friendship troubles of a group of young people in dreary Ireland – is awfully familiar. Another trip to Italy features, with no doubt just as much tension as Normal People’s equivalent.
However, this new novel’s protagonists are a few years older than Rooney’s other works. Angsty students could be shelved, in favour of adults interrogating the realities of our cultural environment. Rooney has not shied away from complex issues before, notably discussing the socioeconomic divide among young people today. This release is a considerable opportunity to expand on these themes.
Either way, I can’t wait to read it – Sally Rooney is a literary talent to watch. Even if it does possess a great number of similarities to Rooney’s previous books, Beautiful World, Where Are You could be 2021’s millennial page-turner.
Words by Erin Osgood
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