Beautiful World Where Are You Review

Book: Beautiful World Where Are You

Author:  Sally Rooney

Release Date: September 7th 2021

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Genre: Drama/Romance

Pages: 368

‘Beautiful World where are you’ is Rooney’s third published novel. It won ‘Goodreads choice awards for Best fiction’ in 2021 and ‘Novel of the year’ for the Irish book awards. 

Synopsis of Beautiful World Where are You

In a modern day Dublin, Alice and Eileen, two best friends from college stumble through the struggles of modern day society as they approach their 30’s. Alice, a famous novelist and Eileen, an editor for a small literary magazine keep in touch over emails throughout the book. They exchange their experiences and struggles living in the 21st century. 

Alice meets Felix, a young and lively man through an online dating app and asks him to travel to Rome with her to which he says yes. The two do not necessarily know or even like each other but their trip away unleashes a strange connection between them that becomes romantic throughout the novel. 

Eileen, living a mundane life, spends most of her time with Simon, an old childhood friend who she once slept with. We learn a lot about Eileen’s past relationship that didn’t end well and we discover that Simon, her charming, wealthy and caring friend has been in love with her all along. 

Throughout the novel, we learn a lot about the characters’ pasts and mental health issues that are openly talked about and expressed in a very modern and safe way.  

All together their relationships are complicated and at times a little odd in their interactions but the main message of the novel is the importance of friends and surrounding yourself with people that love and care about you.

Analysis of Beautiful World Where are you

Overall, ‘Beautiful World Where are you’ is a great book for young adults as it provides a realistic modern take on dating, mental health and the mundanity of life that can be unbearable as we grow up. 

The characters are at times unlikeable and flawed which adds to the realistic and depressing tone of the book set in the brexit/Trump era. It opens opinions on political matters of modern day society largely addressing the messiness and corruption of the hierarchy. 

The storyline is beautifully written through corresponding email exchanges between two long lost friends that struggle together through their mundane adult life. It is a story about love, insecurities, flaws, compromise and friendships all connected between four beautifully written characters each offering a different individual story. 

The ending of the novel is both resolving but unexpected. The characters each gain a happy ending whereby they stay together in their relationships and Eileen even falls pregnant. I found the ending to be nice and happy but felt a little disappointed that it didn’t take a more realistic turn. I don’t think Alice and Felix were a great match for each other and that their relationship was founded mainly on sex rather than fondness and connection. Yet I thought the novel was a great read and thoroughly enjoyed navigating through the characters’ lives with them. 

If you like happy endings, ‘Beautiful World Where Are You’ is a perfect book for you. 

Overall Rating: 8.5/10 – Excellent