This text dwells on some of the same themes as Rooney's second novel, Normal People, and certainly has a similar community of characters, but I found that rather than detract from the power of either novel, these connections lead to a synergistic effect. Several readers in writing reviews of this text seem caught up in their disapproval of Conversations' main character, Frances; but it is worthwhile to set aside one's value systems to listen to the "conversations" in Conversations with Friends. Not only do these conversations suggest we might pick at our assumptions of how to do things right and find that interrogation fruitful, Rooney's text also underscores the immense value of honest communication and friendship. In this text the main character, Frances, is a university student hampered in her ability to define herself in relation to others partly because her emotional development was stunted by the effort to seal herself off from the daily chaos of living with an alcoholic father. Rooney's text asserts that entering adulthood with the kind of shell Frances has built around herself prevents her from making honest or meaningful communication with others, and because having healthy social networks is key to happiness, Frances simply isn't happy. I'm simplifying here, but in short I was stunned by the originality and intelligence with which Rooney explores the vital significance of our conversations with friends.