Rachel is finding it difficult to ignore her sister’s derision, society’s wagging finger and her father’s advancing years. She’s travelled the world, but now finds herself at a crossroads at an age where most people stop globetrotting and settle. She’s never been one to conform to the nine-to-five lifestyle, so why should she start now? Was it wrong to love the freedom and independence a single life provided, to put off the search for Mr Right and the children?
Perhaps she could find the time for one last adventure…
Rachel was an interesting character to develop. Because she was, in essence, me, I wanted to have fun with her and ‘blow her out of proportion’ a little in a fictionalised way - so I was always thinking '“What would I, Rebecca Hall, like to do?” and yet I wanted to also keep her true to form.
Without giving too much away for those who haven’t read the book - any author and prolific reader will know there needs to be an undercurrent of tension in a plot - and this was not hard for me to develop; in the form of family disproval of Rachel’s way of life, of looking at the world and actually, just Rachel as a person! We all come from a family, some have gone on to start their own…you’ll all know what family strife is like…I challenge anyone to maintain they don’t have issues in their family. This was Rachel’s undercurrent of tension through Girl Gone Greek: the disapproval and bullying of her and her lifestyle in the worst form - the nefarious, gaslighting ways in which her family referred to her as ‘too sensitive’. So writing Rachel’s character was, in itself, a form of therapy as I really had to dig deep, to examine what was wrong in our family, what was wrong with ME and how I had possibly also contributed to the breakdown in relations.
So we have this mixed up woman in her 30’s going off to Greece at the scorn of her sibling…and yet it’s the country that, in itself, makes Rachel strong again; the people and their acceptance of Rachel - she’d never been used to just being accepted for who she was, she was always ready, like a boxer on the defence, to defend her position in life, but felt a huge weight lift off her shoulders in Greece when she found she didn’t have to.
You might think “Yeah, OK, but isn’t that what anyone does? Runs away to another country to ‘find themselves’ when the going gets tough? What’s so special about Greece?” and you’d be right: it’s a human trait to take off sometimes. But those of you who’ve been to Greece know: there’s something magical about the place.
Oh! And Rachel certainly started eating better once she stepped foot in the country. She’d eaten tomatoes all her life, but never really tasted them until she came to Greece.