HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Rachel Incident: A novel by Caroline…
Loading...

The Rachel Incident: A novel (edition 2023)

by Caroline O'Donoghue (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3532074,783 (3.97)20
"Rachel is a student working at a bookstore when she meets James, and it's love at first sight. Effervescent and insistently heterosexual, James soon invites Rachel to be his roommate and the two begin a friendship that changes the course of both their lives forever. Together, they run riot through the streets of Cork city, trying to maintain a bohemian existence while the threat of the financial crash looms before them. When Rachel falls in love with her married professor, Dr. Fred Byrne, James helps her devise a reading at their local bookstore, with the goal that she might seduce him afterwards. But Fred has other desires. So begins a series of secrets and compromises that intertwine the fates of James, Rachel, Fred, and Fred's glamorous, well-connected, bourgeois wife."--… (more)
Member:CruellaLibrary
Title:The Rachel Incident: A novel
Authors:Caroline O'Donoghue (Author)
Info:Knopf (2023), 304 pages
Collections:Read, Bookshelf, Wishlist, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:read in 2024, ireland, female author, white author, contemporary novel, novel, contemporary, beach read, READ

Work Information

The Rachel Incident by Caroline O'Donoghue

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 20 mentions

English (19)  Dutch (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Ahhhhhh!!!!!! All I can say is I was incredibly enthralled by the characters, Rachel and Deenie in particular. Rachel is extremely flawed, but I found myself seriously relating to her. There are entire sections that I felt were plucked directly from my head. Codependency, for example, was shown so well through her internal thoughts and dialogue between her and james. It was all so incredibly honest.

Again, Rachel did some bad things and none of them are excusable and still, I wanted Rachel to win so badly. I wanted her to get what she wanted. I hated who she hated, loved who she loved, was obsessed with all the same things. I wanted her to seek out petty revenge from everyone who'd ever made her feel small even though it wouldn't be fair. I wanted the (mostly) good people in this story to be bad because that would’ve made loving Rachel so much easier. She was self aware in the most dangerous way, in that she can pinpoint her role in hurting others and feels hopeless about it. At the same time, you can’t deny that she’d been used. And punished. It was pretty heart wrenching to read how she was treated at the graduation, all based on a lie to spare someone else. It just felt so horrible. I don’t know how else to explain it.

Nearing the end, I realized that resolution is what I wanted for everyone. Despite the turmoil Deemie suffered, it was incredibly fulfilling to see how things changed with her. I don't know if I would've coped as healthily as her, so I respect her character so much. Ultimately, I think this book teaches you to cope with people's shitty behavior (even your own!) with empathy and context. Every bad decision we make is to protect ourselves or others. That doesn't make it any better. But it helps us understand why we keep messing up and hurting people. I think that's all we can do.

Apart from plot/characters, the pacing of this was what helped me get through this so quick. I would prepare for a long chapter, only for it to fly by without me noticing. Each chapter, no matter how long, transitioned so smoothly and was easy to breeze through. The last few chapters feel a bit rushed because it skips time so quickly. However, I think the quickness was necessary to get to the last chapter without giving unnecessary detail over a longer span of time.

The writing itself is the most impressive part to me. It was so witty and the 'drama' was so fleshed out. I was invested in every single relationship, in every single slip-up or obstacle. It was also just so versatile. It was devastating and funny and complicated. I've read too many books that are so invested in plot, they forget to say something important in a hard-hitting way. Some people are great at making interesting/unique concepts for stories, some people truly understand the craft of writing. O'Donoghue is great at both and it feels effortless in my opinion.

The endings of chapters were also so so interesting to me. I think landing on 'mundane' images or statements to move forward works really well in stories like this. A really intimate moment cannot end on something explosive or dramatic. It works so well when these moments end on the fineness of tea leaves, on the printed-off email tucked somewhere, on a kiss planted on a neck. Writing poetry is one of my favorite things ever and this is usually my go-to way to end poems. Devastate them with a lasting image that pulls in their senses, something that grounds them.

I love love loved this novel. It was just genuinely refreshing. I also just have this weird urge to cry silently whenever a main character seems to resolve their issues and get closure (maybe because I'm living vicariously through them?). So I did a little bit of crying with this one and that was so satisfying. ( )
  yosistachrista | Jul 22, 2024 |
reading this book feels like gossiping with a friend ( )
  viscoelastic | Jul 13, 2024 |
Very good. Just excellent characters that you wanted to know about. Funny, lovely Irish in an Irish way, sweet, sultry, good craic.
1 vote BookyMaven | Jun 10, 2024 |
At first I thought I'd stumbled upon a Mills & Boon for Millennials. Then I thought I might not be all that interested as I'm scarcely the same generation as Rachel and her friends and colleagues, stumbling through messy early adulthood. But almost against my will, I was drawn in to the convoluted affairs and working arrangements of Rachel, and her gay friend and flat mate James. We begin in 209, and there's a recession on, which colours everyone's prospects, including Rachel's middle class dentist parents.

Rachel is at first finishing her English degree while also working in a bookshop. She fancies her professor. But he, it turns out, has begun an affair with James, although he's married to the woman whom Rachel is in due course working for as an intern, and Rachel has fallen for someone who's fallen for her too, but has a habit of disappearing ... It's all intriguingly complicated and believable.

It's gossipy, witty, wry and a real page turner. Recommended. ( )
  Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
I listened to this, it's an excellent audiobook. I looked up an interview with the author, and found out that she wrote this during the first year of COVID, wanting to write something that would help her and the people who read it feel good. She's done it, it's a funny, warm-hearted book. There is tension, but the narrator (Rachel) tells part of the story from her older-self; so you always know she will end up OK.

It's an Irish novel, set in Cork where Rachel and her best friend James are coping with the economic depression of 2009 and with figuring out their own identities and futures; while spending time going to parities, bars and getting drunk; and in between school and working in a failing bookstore.

Here is a passage, as Rachel reflects on her choice of getting a degree in literature:

“I liked dead women talking glibly about society. I liked long paragraphs about rationing and sexual awakenings in France.” ( )
1 vote banjo123 | Mar 31, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)

The Rachel Incident, by Caroline O’Donoghue, was basically a one-sitting read for me. The plot’s twisty and emotional, full of realistic early-twenties intensity, with a much-older professor, who’s really chasing that early-twenties vibe.
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

"Rachel is a student working at a bookstore when she meets James, and it's love at first sight. Effervescent and insistently heterosexual, James soon invites Rachel to be his roommate and the two begin a friendship that changes the course of both their lives forever. Together, they run riot through the streets of Cork city, trying to maintain a bohemian existence while the threat of the financial crash looms before them. When Rachel falls in love with her married professor, Dr. Fred Byrne, James helps her devise a reading at their local bookstore, with the goal that she might seduce him afterwards. But Fred has other desires. So begins a series of secrets and compromises that intertwine the fates of James, Rachel, Fred, and Fred's glamorous, well-connected, bourgeois wife."--

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.97)
0.5
1
1.5 1
2 2
2.5
3 13
3.5 10
4 39
4.5 13
5 15

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 208,917,526 books! | Top bar: Always visible