Book review: The Rachel Incident ploughs the horrid awkwardness of adolescence for belly laughs

Cork-born Caroline O’Donoghue’s third novel for adults is genuinely warmhearted and is the kind of laugh-out-loud funny you normally only find in stand-up comedy

In her third novel Caroline O’Donoghue, veteran columnist and podcaster, playfully tackles issues like pregnancy, fidelity, coming of age and taking responsibility for your actions. Picture: Akira Suemori

Cork-born Caroline O’Donoghue’s third novel for adults explores similar territory to that of Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends. In both books, the main protagonist is a self-obsessed university student who develops a complicated relationship with an older couple. O’Donoghue, however, ploughs a far funnier furrow that playfully navigates the traumatic tightrope between adolescence and adulthood with belly laughs aplenty.

In 2021, 31-year-old Rachel Murray is a successful Irish journalist living in London, happily married with ...