The Rachel Incident

Caroline O'Donoghue


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Little, Brown Book Group
22 June 2023
ISBN: 9780349013558
320 pages

From the publisher

The international bestseller: a hilarious, heartfelt story of all-consuming and unexpected love

'If you've ever been young, you will love The Rachel Incident like I did' - GABRIELLE ZEVIN, author of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

'Funny, nostalgic, sexy' MONICA HEISEY, author of Really Good, Actually

'Easily 13/10 ... Funny, lovely, romantic, drenched in nostalgia' MARIAN KEYES

'Hilarious, wise and wonderfully written' GRAHAM NORTON

'A stormer of a novel' I NEWS

'Sharply witty, warm-hearted and wise' GUARDIAN

'Deeply relatable and extremely funny' OBSERVER

'A headlong read about being young and hopelessly in lust' SUNDAY TIMES


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...

'A deliciously complicated and very real romance with some refreshing twists. O'Donoghue captures all the intensity of messy young love' MAIL ON SUNDAY

'A book full of love, and it is extremely easy to love reading it' VOGUE

'Perfectly captures the intensity and high and lows of first love, and it's also very, very funny' RED MAGAZINE

'Chaos at its finest' STYLIST

'Books by Irish women writers are hot these days, and this novel is on fire' PEOPLE MAGAZINE, Book of the Week

'Filled with humour and heart ... You'll gobble up The Rachel Incident in one bite' DAILY EXPRESS

Early readers are falling in love with The Rachel Incident:

'Her best book yet - this is going to be huge' READER REVIEW

'A triumph of a novel' READER REVIEW

'Extremely witty, charming and humorous' READER REVIEW

'Perfection. I want to delete it from my brain so I can read it for the first time again' READER REVIEW

'Delightfully addictive' READER REVIEW

'Big-hearted, witty and expertly crafted' - SLOANE CROSLEY, author of Cult Classic

'Hilarious' - ANNIE LORD, author of Notes on Heartbreak

'Funny, poignant, heart-breaking' - BARBARA TRAPIDO, author of Brother of the More Famous Jack

'I really loved this book' - EMER MCLYSAGHT, author of Oh My God What a Complete Aisling

'Absorbing and funny and honest and horny' LIZZIE HUXLEY-JONES, author of Make You Mine This Christmas