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Promising Young Women

A darkly funny novel about being a young woman in a man's world, by the bestselling author of THE RACHEL INCIDENT
  • Author
    • Caroline O'Donoghue
Regular price £9.99
Regular price Sale price £9.99

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, by the bestselling author of The Rachel Incident

'Like Nora Ephron's Heartburn, Promising Young Women positively thrums with relatability and honesty' IRISH 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 end' GRAZIA

'So brilliant, I highly recommend it' DOLLY ALDERTON

'I loved it - whipsmart and so witty' MARIAN KEYES

'Sharp, pithy and engaging' IRISH TIMES

'Smart and spiky' METRO

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

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

Not available for shipping to the following countries:

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  • Published: Mar 07 2019
  • 196 x 126mm
  • ISBN: 9780349009933
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Press Reviews

  • Irish Independent
    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
  • Daisy Buchanan, author of How to Be a Grown-Up
    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
  • Marian Keyes
    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
  • Dolly Alderton, The High Low Podcast
    So brilliant . . . It couldn't really be more timely . . . Compelling and illuminating . . . I highly recommend it
  • Jane Casey
    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
    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
  • Sarah Maria Griffin
    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
  • Independent
    A darkly funny novel with a gothic twist about surviving the workplace, modern feminism, and the power dynamics that come with relationships
  • Bookclub Top Five Summer Reads
    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
  • Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti
    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
  • Emerald Street
    A timely portrayal of what it's like to be a woman in a man's world
  • inews, The 30 best books to take on holiday in summer 2018
    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
  • Bustle, The Best British Beach Reads For Summer 2018
    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
  • Stylist
    Promising Young Women is a look at office politics and power dynamics between men and women at work, with a gothic, slightly terrifying tone
  • The Pool
    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
  • Grazia
    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
  • Elle
    This brilliant debut novel takes office politics to the extreme
  • Irish Times
    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
  • Grazia
    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
  • Sunday Mirror
    This debut develops into a dark meditation about life, love and gender politics in the workplace. Witty and thought-provoking
  • Keith Stuart
    An amazing writer and this is a timely and brilliant book
  • Mail on Sunday
    There's drama aplenty in this plugged-in tale of workplace affairs, agony-aunt blogs and female friendship
  • Alexandra Heminsley, Radio 2 - Sara Cox Show
    Properly, properly funny
  • Metro
    A smart, spiky novel
  • Irish Independent Books of the Year
    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 Times Best Debuts of 2018
    Caroline O'Donoghue's witty, vibrant Promising Young Women, whose title neatly sums up the author as well as her work
  • Sunday Business Post Books of the Year
    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