46 pages 1 hour read

Sally Rooney

Conversations with Friends

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2017

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Important Quotes

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“At lunchtime we walked along the car park holding hands and people looked away from us maliciously. It was fun, the first real fun I’d ever had.” 


(Part 1, Chapter 1, Page 8)

Readers do not get an extended glimpse into Frances and Bobbi’s relationship before Nick and Melissa enter their lives, only snippets of information from sections like this and from the old instant messages between them which Frances looks at throughout the book. However, from these snippets we can see that Bobbi played the important role of being not just Frances’s girlfriend but her only true friend in high school. Thanks to Bobbi’s blunt and cantankerous personality, Frances was her only true friend as well.

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“Although I couldn’t specify why exactly, I felt certain that Melissa was less interested in our writing process now that she knew I wrote the material alone. I knew the subtlety of this change would be enough for Bobbi to deny it later, which irritated me as if it had already happened. I was starting to feel adrift from the whole setup, like the dynamic that had eventually revealed itself didn’t interest me, or even involve me. I could have tried harder to engage myself, but I probably resented having to make an effort to be noticed.”


(Part 1, Chapters 2, Page 13)

Although Frances never voices this thought directly in her narration, one of the reasons she becomes interested in Nick seems to be that he pays attention to her while Melissa is focused only on Bobbi. Frances already conceives of Bobbi as more beautiful and interesting than herself, so having that opinion reinforced by people like Melissa is painful and irritating. Much like Bobbi did in high school, Nick sees her when she seems to be invisible to other people.

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