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Promising Young Women

Kate O'Brien Award, 2019

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349018836

Price: £9.99

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THE RACHEL INCIDENT – Caroline O’Donoghue’s bestselling new novel* – is out now


A darkly funny novel about being a young woman in a man’s world



Like Nora Ephron’s Heartburn, Promising Young Women positively thrums with relatability and honestyIRISH INDEPENDENT

Jane is twenty-six, freshly dumped, and on the bottom rung of a lacklustre marketing career. She is also moonlighting as a worldly agony aunt. When an office party goes too far, she drunkenly tries out another role: the Other Woman. As Jane’s affair with her much older, married boss takes off, she disregards the advice her alter ego would give and dissolves into being someone else’s dirty little secret. But she’s not the only one at her company to have taken the wrong path. As she finds her own health and sanity disintegrating, can she discover the truth before another promising young woman is taken under his wing?

Deeply relatable and darkly comic . . . It’ll have you nodding with familiarity, thinking, laughing and crying as you race towards the endGRAZIA

So brilliant, I highly recommend it‘ DOLLY ALDERTON

I loved it whipsmart and so witty‘ MARIAN KEYES

Sharp, pithy and engagingIRISH TIMES

Smart and spikyMETRO

An Post Irish Book Awards Shortlisted Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

*The Rachel Incident was a #2 bestseller in Ireland in June 2023

Reviews

So brilliant . . . It couldn't really be more timely . . . Compelling and illuminating . . . I highly recommend it
Dolly Alderton, The High Low Podcast
By turns glossy and gritty ... If Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Nora Ephron or Lena Dunham appeal, there's much to like in O'Donoghue's promising debut
Irish Independent Books of the Year
A story that couldn't be more fitting for 2018, it'll have you nodding with familiarity, thinking, laughing - and crying - as you race towards the end
Grazia
An amazing writer and this is a timely and brilliant book
Keith Stuart
A timely portrayal of what it's like to be a woman in a man's world
Emerald Street
A darkly funny novel with a gothic twist about surviving the workplace, modern feminism, and the power dynamics that come with relationships
Independent
A powerful tale of manipulation and lust inside a male dominated workforce. Not unlike Louise O'Neill's Asking For It, once you go down the rabbit hole into this dark book, you won't be coming out until you've finished it
Evoke.ie Bookclub Top Five Summer Reads
What starts as a couple of bad drunk decisions quickly spiral into the kind of Gaslight-y, power imbalanced relationship that will be chillingly oh-so-relatable for many women
http://wearandwhere.co.uk/best-books-2018-what-to-read-this-summer-spring/
An intriguing debut ...The novel takes an interesting turn, spiralling into a much darker story than you might expect. Likeable and compelling; we're looking forward to seeing what O'Donoghue does next
Sunday Business Post Books of the Year
You'll find both [forbidden love and scandal] in large measure in Promising Young Women, from the always on-the-nose Caroline O'Donoghue. Office worker by day and agony aunt by night, Jane Peters gets caught up in a risky affair that threatens to derail everything she's managing to precariously hold down. It's tipped to be this summer's bestseller and if you've read Caroline's writing before or follow her on Twitter, you'll know why
Bustle, The Best British Beach Reads For Summer 2018
Caroline O'Donoghue's witty, vibrant Promising Young Women, whose title neatly sums up the author as well as her work
Irish Times Best Debuts of 2018
This is the cleverest, funniest and most assured debut novel I've ever read. Caroline O'Donoghue is enormously talented, but wears her talent lightly - this book is deceptively, seductively charming and easy, before it turns deliciously dark. It's bold, knowing and so smart - fans of Nancy Mitford or Jay McInerney will adore this, but O'Donoghue's voice is absolutely her own
Daisy Buchanan, author of How to Be a Grown-Up
A smart, spiky novel
Metro
Tinged with modern gothic, O'Donoghue's writing is deeply relatable and darkly comic, as she examines the interplay of power and sex in modern times. A story that couldn't be more fitting for 2018, it'll have you nodding with familiarity, thinking, laughing - and crying - as you race towards the end
Grazia
This debut shows that Caroline O'Donoghue is one of the brightest stars in the current galaxy of young Irish writers. Promising Young Women is funny, clever, upsetting, fierce and absolutely of its time. A future classic
Jane Casey
O'Donoghue's beautifully paced and very clever debut is an acerbic story about finding office love in all the wrong places with some surprising gothic undertones and a satisfyingly bitter after-taste
inews, The 30 best books to take on holiday in summer 2018
Promising Young Women is indeed full of promise, a novel penned by a 28-year-old Corkwoman in a style that is sharp, pithy and engaging ... Promising Young Women is timely and vibrant, with O'Donoghue particularly sharp on gender relations
Irish Times
Promising Young Women is a book of two worlds - a light, current London of brunch and cocktails, spiraling into a gothic internal world of obsession, manipulation and fear. O'Donoghue writes the body in a hugely transporting way: if you have never felt like Jane in your own life, it will be impossible to not feel like her as you read this book - her illness and want and stasis and depression. Promising Young Women is a gothic spiral that I couldn't quite hold onto the walls of: a descent I was willing to tumble down. I loved it
Sarah Maria Griffin
This debut develops into a dark meditation about life, love and gender politics in the workplace. Witty and thought-provoking
Sunday Mirror
Promising Young Women manages to capture exactly how it feels to be a twentysomething woman in London while also containing a gleefully dark and gothic streak. It's an absolute gamechanger
The Pool
There's drama aplenty in this plugged-in tale of workplace affairs, agony-aunt blogs and female friendship
Mail on Sunday
I loved it. The writing is whipsmart and so witty and what Caroline O'Donoghue says about how women interact with men and work is fascinating. A fabulous and timely novel
Marian Keyes
I loved Promising Young Women. It's like Bluebeard crossed with The Yellow Wallpaper neck-deep in zeitgeist. If Angela Carter was stuck in a soulless corporate job this would be the dark, delicious result
Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti
This brilliant debut novel takes office politics to the extreme
Elle
Properly, properly funny
Alexandra Heminsley, Radio 2 - Sara Cox Show
Anyone who enjoyed Jami Attenberg's All Grown Up or Sally Rooney's Conversations With Friends will find much to like in Caroline O'Donoghue's darkly funny novel . . . A zippy, astute read
Irish Independent
Promising Young Women is a look at office politics and power dynamics between men and women at work, with a gothic, slightly terrifying tone
Stylist