The Great Millennial Novelist

Sally Rooney. Or so “they” say. I just finished the 28 year olds second novel, Normal People. Eldest was mostly right about Rooney’s core readership.

From inside the cover:

“Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love and the complex entanglements of family and friendship.”

Two-thirds of the way through I texted Eldest who devoured it in one marathon session:

“Normal People. Past half way, but having a wee problem with the intensity of their feelings for one another and their proclivity to spurn one another. Doesn’t ring true to me.”

Eldest, at 26 years young, is in a much better position than me to assess the believability of two characters in their early 20’s and she respectfully pushed back, to which I wrote:

“Yes, but in my experience, that’s the diff between high school and college. In college you quit caring what your friends think of your bfriend/gfriend.”

That prompted the most Millennial of texts:

“Hahahahahahaha. I WISH!”

Sadly, it appears I’m losing touch with today’s young adults.

By the end, the story not only rang true, it left me immobilized in my reading chair, like a great film sometimes does. The last sentence of my favorite review of the book resonated most with me:

“It is a long time since I cared so much about two characters on a page.”

And to think she’s just getting started. Here’s hoping expectations don’t take a toll.

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For a Dad

Consider a “conversation” I had with Eldest this week:

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For. A. Dad. Each word, a separate dagger to the heart. Just goes to show, we often see ourselves differently than others do. In my mind, I’m eternally young and hip to the scene. Well, maybe that’s a touch hyperbolic, but I definitely don’t want to be put into a “dad box” with the concomitant jeans, bod, and who knows what else.

You have to give Eldest credit though, she realizes I’m sensitive for my demographic and bends over backwards to make amends.

So I’m “ahead of the curve in my demo” and “sometimes I know better music”. I am not too proud to accept charity.

Instead of writing her out of the will, I went full Michelle Obama and took the high road, recommending a newly discovered catchy/funny track called “Dear Winter” by AJR.

I’m compassionate for my demo, don’t you think?

Postscript: Lil’Picnic, Eldest’s improv friend, has the best nickname of all time.