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Scenes of a Graphic Nature

On sale

1st July 2021

Price: £9.99

Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, 2021

Select a format

Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349009971

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

Charlie’s life isn’t going forward – so she’s decided to go back

After a tough few years floundering around the British film industry and experimenting with amateur pornography, Charlie and her best friend Laura take a trip to her familial home on an island off the west coast of Ireland. Her father’s health is rapidly declining and this could be the last chance to connect with her roots. But events on the island cause Charlie to doubt her father’s childhood stories – and then there’s her complicated relationship with Laura. Pursuing the truth will shatter everything she thought knew – but is that what it takes to grow up?

A gorgeous exploration of the messy and fragile nature of friendship and all the many forms of loveIRISH TIMES

A darkly humorous, keenly observed blend of millennial drift and murder mystery from a razor-sharp writer RED

Witty, tender and insightfulGUARDIAN

A perfect page-turner. I loved it‘ DOLLY ALDERTON

Wonderful. Had me gripped MARIAN KEYES

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


Keith Stuart, author of The Boy Made of Blocks
I was so hooked on this beautiful, funny story of homecoming and self-discovery I didn't want to put it down. The characters are wonderfully drawn and the sense of place is so compelling - it is a mystery, a fireside yarn. There is a little Maeve Binchy in there, a little Keyes, but Caroline has her own voice, and the edge to Charlie and Laura - their difficult, funny and recognisable relationship - is all her own
A dark yet joyous novel about family and friendship
Louise O'Neill
With Scenes Of A Graphic Nature, Caroline O'Donoghue establishes herself as one of the most exciting young Irish writers on the literary scene. Her acerbic wit is matched by her sharp-eyed observations, resulting in a piece of fiction that is dark, gripping, and beautifully written
Irish Tatler
Absolutely loved it. It's an absorbing blend of quarter-life crisis mixed with a bit of mystery
Dolly Alderton
Scenes of a Graphic Nature has all the components of a perfect page-turner: beautiful prose, truthful characters, hilarious dialogue and an addictive plot. I loved it
Lucy Vine, bestselling author of Hot Mess
Put this book somewhere safe, because it is set to be one of those you spend your life reading over and over - discovering new moments and new lessons each time. I've been a huge fan of Caroline O'Donoghue's writing for a long time and I think Scenes of a Graphic Nature - blisteringly funny and clever - is her best work yet. Raw, heartfelt and incredibly compelling, I can't recommend this enough
The dark humour will have you guffawing into the pages
Amber Connolly, Heat
A witty story of second-generation immigrants trying to belong, Scenes of a Graphic Nature grapples with love, friendship and identity
Scenes of a Graphic Nature could have been a simpler novel. But, in its refusal to follow the expected trajectory of a prodigal return, it offers us intricate, layered humanity. Charlie Regan, in all her messy glory, is a protagonist we are willing to follow, from England to Ireland, from the past to present, and everything in between this world and the next
Jemma Crew, Scotsman
Everything in Caroline O'Donoghue's new novel is messy - but in the best way. She covers important themes like family, friendship, nationality, history and health, weaving her narrator Charlie's sense of dislocation into a broader exploration of cultural identity . . . an intriguing read, raising questions about what stories should be told, when, and by whom
Daisy Buchanan
Scenes Of A Graphic Nature is a truly extraordinary novel - I inhaled it. It's thrillingly dark, but so moving and human - it's one of the most intelligent, well observed depictions of lust, loss, envy, betrayal, friendship and love that I've ever read. Charlie is so real, courageous, vulnerable, infuriating and adorable. The book itself mirrors Charlie's experience of Ireland - sometimes it's warm and joyous, sometimes it's hostile and terrifying, but even when you know you're in danger, you want to stay for longer and fall even deeper into the pages
Examines self-mythology and long-repressed secrets
You Magazine, Irish Mail on Sunday
It might be the best novel of 2020
Sunday Business Post
Highly enjoyable: full of momentum and heart. O'Donoghue is a formidable talent
[An] edgy and astute second novel . . . Caroline O'Donoghue is a master of the Technicolor character, fleshing out even the minor ones with brightness and wit . . . As ever, O'Donoghue is impressive on the complexities of being a young woman and delivers this insight with lively dialogue and a droll acuity that occasionally calls to mind the likes of Nora Ephron . . . O'Donoghue possesses an edginess and a wry sensibility that, despite the book's dark subject matter, ultimately translates into something zesty and companionable. Her easy curiosity about love, lust, loss and losing one's way will doubtless leave readers wanting more
Sara Manning, Red
A darkly humorous, keenly observed blend of millennial drift and murder mystery from a razor-sharp writer
Ayisha Malik
So dark and funny, bleak yet full of heart, touching on friendship and love and belonging ... you're in for a treat
Emma Gannon
I absolutely loved it. I felt so connected to the family. It took me on such a journey and I learnt so much; It made me really think about identity, who we are, and why we do what we do. Such a beautiful book, I can't stop thinking about it
i paper
In the inventive O'Donoghue's follow-up to Promising Young Women, she turns her tart tongue on friendship, exile and what it feels like to return to a place that no longer feels like home
Irish Times
A gorgeous exploration of the messy and fragile nature of friendship and all the many forms of love, as well as of the primal need we all have to belong
Witty, tender and insightful . . . O'Donoghue is a perceptive, clever writer
Sarah Hughes, i paper
At the heart of Caroline O'Donoghue's addictive second novel lies a simple and compelling question: can you ever outrun your past? . . . acute, clever and very funny
i paper
The brilliant O'Donoghue's second novel is a moving and extremely funny look at family, roots and the myth of Irishness
Marian Keyes
Wonderful!!! Scenes of a Graphic Nature had me GRIPPED. About friendship and failure, Ireland and England, love and guilt, cover-ups and brutal honesty. It's really, really, really, REALLY good