Review: The Rachel Incident by Caroline O’Donoghue

Title: The Rachel Incident

Author: Caroline O’Donoghue

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group

The Blurb

The Rachel Incident is an all-consuming love story. But it’s not the one you’re expecting. It’s unconventional and messy. It’s young and foolish. It’s about losing and finding yourself. But it is always about love.

When Rachel falls in love with her married professor, Dr Byrne, her best friend James helps her devise a plan to seduce him. But what begins as a harmless crush soon pushes their friendship to its limits. Over the course of a year they will find their lives ever more entwined with the Byrnes’ and be faced with impossible choices and a lie that can’t be taken back…

The Review

I’ve read books by Caroline O’Donoghue before and I have really enjoyed them but none as much as I liked The Rachel Incident.

The Rachel Incident is a delicious coming of age drama set in Ireland. It deals with topics such as friendship, first love, inappropriate crushes and mostly how devastatingly hard it can be to grow up. How there isn’t a guide book on how to do it correctly and how so many mistakes can be made and just how easily that can happen.

Rachel – for all her undesirable qualities – is such a likable protagonist. You want her to be successful and happy but you know that journey isn’t going to be smooth and you ride right beside her all the way through. You see the good, the bad and the downright ugly but you still root for her.

O’Donoghue’s characterisation is majestic and I became so involved with these characters lives. I wanted more. I wanted to be friends with them all. As a reader, I was on the periphery. I wanted to be in the inner circle.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Rachel Incident and would completely recommend it to anyone and everyone.

The Rachel Incident by Caroline O’Donoghue is available now.

For more information regarding Little, Brown Book Group (@LittleBrownUK) please visit

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