Somewhere around January I read a review on goodreads with the most perfect quote. “Conversations with Friends is another one of those books about not particularly nice people entangled in awkward relationships,” wrote Esil (the author of said review).
Conversations with Friends is the second novel by Sally Rooney, a young Irish author. It tells the story of Frances and Bobbi, 21-year-old students, creative partners, best friends and ex-girlfriends. One day they are noticed by Melissa, a famous photographer and journalist type person, who decides to write an article about them. Melissa is not very happily married to Nick, a very traditionally beautiful and not very successful actor. As part one goes, Bobbi develops a crush for Melissa and Frances starts having an affair with Nick.
For me, one of the highlights of this book is how the author wrote it. Sally managed to mixture email, text and in person conversations in way that was almost poetic.
But the narrative itself didn’t have a moment that sparked a ‘wow’ moment. The characters can be quite annoying at times, but also kind of nuanced. They are not saints, but also not 100% bad people. And that’s what makes them perfect for 2020.
For a long time, most of the characters in books, movies and even gossip magazines/websites were seen as either good or bad. And nothing else. So it is refreshing to see more and more characters being more than a stereotype.
All being said, this book literally just gave me my ‘wow’ moment. I compared the four main characters to dog breeds.
Nick is a Labrador Retriever. On surface he can seem really basic because of his appearance, there isn’t nothing special to him besides his beauty. He is also really attached to his owners (in this case, Melissa), no matter how they behave, and loves other dogs and 99% of humans. What makes this dog so interesting is his love and quirks. Unfortunately, Nick is a character from a fictional book (and not a very long one), so he stays in the basic and loving part.
Frances is a Pug. Everybody seem to love them, they look so adorable and, at first, there is nothing annoying about them. But don’t make them jealous. They will attack you and it will look ridiculous because they are so small, their legs are tiny, and their faces too flat to even try to bite you. And the jealously will probably come from something stupid, like saying hi to their owner (in this case Nick and Bobbi).
Melissa is a Pomeranian. Pomeranians are very popular between (mainly) white basic kind of arrogant people. They are also the most annoying breed of dog that ever stepped on earth. They are the mosquitoes of dogs. Melissa is a well-known photographer/ journalist that everyone (except out fellow jealous pug) seems to love as both a professional and a person. Even when she starts barking. And let’s be honest, the only thing more annoying that a Pomeranian’s smug face is their loud barking habits.
Bobbi is 2/3 Pinscher and 1/3 Pomeranian. Frances love to romanticize Bobbi, talking as if she was the best person in the world and deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. But, as even Bobbi herself said, she is not that special. She also loves the spotlight, and acting as if she is better and more intelligent than others. At first, I thought she was a Pinscher (the second most annoying dog breed to ever step on earth), but then I remembered that her family has money. So, she is 2/3 Pinscher and 1/3 Pomeranian.
- Have you read Conversations with Friends? If yes, which dog breeds do you think the characters are?