Actually, Rachel Hollis, We ALL Saw That Coming

Photo courtesy of Rachel Hollis’ Instagram.

This week, everyone’s (least?) favorite author and influencer announced that she has a new book being released next month. And, as only Rachel Hollis can do, she managed to make a genuinely emotional, traumatic topic like divorce seem almost as shallow as a kiddie pool.

Earlier this summer — in June, specifically — Hollis announced she and her husband were getting a divorce. They share four children and are co-partners in her successful multimedia company. In her Instagram announcement, she wrote, “Guys, I have some hard news to share and the honest truth is, I have no idea how someone announces something like this, so I’m just going to say it. Dave and I have made the incredibly difficult decision to end our marriage,” adding, “We are choosing joy — even though, I’ll be honest, the last month has been one of the most awful of our lives. I want to be strong and bold and optimistic for you now, but every ounce of my energy is reserved in being those things for my children.”

She finished her post by pleading for everyone to respect the couple’s privacy as they navigate through this difficult time and try to figure out what the next chapter of their life would look like. Understandable, right? Their marriage didn’t work out, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Y’all, just a friendly reminder that this all went down in June. Now, just two short months later, Hollis has let us in on what the next chapter of what their life entails. And it’s completely typical for her brand.

Recently on Good Morning America, Hollis made an appearance to announce her next book, a 240-page venture titled, Didn’t See THAT Coming. And on Instagram, she wrote:

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This morning my friends at @goodmorningamerica made a big announcement for me… the cover of my next book!! 😭 Here’s an excerpt: “I set out to write this book because I have survived crisis and grief many times and I believed I might have something to share that could help others walk through it. I wrote the first draft as a sort of Sherpa, believing I could help guide you over the mountain of grief. Now I find myself back inside grief and editing from an entirely different perspective than the one from which I wrote. I’m no longer a Sherpa, leading from the front—now I’m also trudging through it with you, which means this book has the unique duality of being a creation both outside and inside of pain. As someone who lives by a plan, who has imagined in detail the next two decades of my life and how they might play out, I can honestly tell you, I never planned for the end of my marriage. Honestly? The fact that I didn’t see this or plan for it makes me feel like an idiot. I will add a bit more honesty and tell you something in confidence. I considered pushing this book away or scrapping the idea altogether. I didn’t think I was ready—I wasn’t sure I’d ever be ready. I questioned whether I could teach and learn at the same time— because this lesson, this work, feels like the hardest I’ve ever done. Even though the words were written, even though I believed they could be helpful to someone—I knew it was impossible to keep this book in its original form without acknowledging the fresh destruction I find myself in. And, the idea of writing about something so new goes against everything I have believed about my work. There’s an old expression that says we should teach or write or share only from our scars, never from our wounds, and I have lived by it. Meaning, I have been intentional about never processing the hard parts of life with you but instead have only ever shared what has been effective for me after I’ve done the work. But here we are. Everything feels fragile and scrubbed raw. Everything feels unreal and uncertain. Everything feels absent of all that matters and simultaneously too big to carry.” Didn’t See That Coming is out on September 29th. 🤟🏻

A post shared by Rachel Hollis (@msrachelhollis) on

The idea that Rachel Hollis, of all people, has any desire to not use something for attention and money would be surprising — that’s literally how she built her empire. It would ordinarily seem callous or inappropriate to insinuate that as soon as Hollis decided to divorce her husband she was already seeing dollar signs, but just two months later, here we are. She is broadcasting not only her pain, but the pain of her ex-husband and of her children, and she appears to be promoting it to garner more book sales. She’s unironically telling us she’s saying something “in confidence,” on a public Instagram post that will be seen by literally millions of people — while grinning alongside the caption saying that she’s destroyed, too.

And that’s not all — she even went so far as to compare herself to a sherpa in the process. For those unfamiliar, “sherpa” is not just a job description; it’s an actual ethnicity, of people indigenous to Nepal and the Himalayas. Not only does she seem to be trying on an ethnicity to make a point, but she’s also already a known plagiarizer, including of black women (even from Maya Angelou!) without giving them proper credit or attribution for their work.

Rachel Hollis seems to encapsulate some of the less desirable parts of confessional culture. This idea that we can air out all of our dirty laundry, under the pretense of “helping” people, and make money doing so can be harmful for others. Also, according to her podcast, Hollis’ ex-husband is evidently not even the one who asked for the divorce. Does that mean her reasons for doing so aren’t valid? Not necessarily, but her rush to exploit that decision and profit off of it really does make it seem a lot more suspicious.

Anyway, here’s Rachel, acting as if she has advice or words of wisdom on surviving a divorce when she’s still going through the divorce. If there’s anything that needs to be said, it’s this: Girl, tell the truth. This feels like nothing more than a cash grab, a quick way to publicize her current situation and make an easy buck. And sadly, her fans will eat it up without a thought of how inappropriate it is, or how painful it will be for the people affected. Her children will read this book one day. So will her ex-husband. So will their families. Does any of that matter, or is it all worth being sacrificed to make money? What she’s doing isn’t healthy for her, it’s not healthy for her family, and it’s not healthy for her followers. But perhaps the saddest part of all is how utterly unsurprising it is.

Cassy Fiano-Chesser
Cassy Fiano-Chesser is a Jacksonville native and mom to six kids. Her husband is a Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient. She works from home as a blogger and a freelance writer, and they currently live in the Argyle area of Jacksonville. Benjamin is their oldest, born in 2011, and he loves being a big brother. Wyatt was born in 2012, and he has Down syndrome. Ivy came next, in 2013, followed by Clara, born in 2015, who is a diva-with-a-capital-D. Rounding out the brood is Felicity, born in 2017, and Lilly, born in 2007. They love discovering things to do on the First Coast and going on family adventures, as well as cheering on the Jumbo Shrimp and the Icemen.

42 COMMENTS

  1. This review sounded more like someone who is full of negativity and bitterness over someone she doesn’t know personally than someone trying to make a point. In the effort it took you to tear down another woman, you could have easily just stopped reading or following her. This was yet another disappointing display of women tearing other women down for their personal gain. Dig deeper into your own mindset, this is not a healthy practice.

  2. This is so sad. I would much rather follow a woman who builds other women up rather than tearing them down. What a terrible example to set. I’m curious if you’ve ever written about a man this way?

  3. Wow. Wow. Wow.

    I am seriously shocked at some of the downright cruel comments here.
    First off: thank you for writing this and having the courage to go against the grain. Or at least against all of Rachel’s super fans in the rest of the comments.

    I read Rachel’s first book, and then I dug into her teachings and podcast and really tried to “get to know her.” I kept hearing everyone say how real and honest she was and that’s what they loved about her. But honestly? I never felt that from her. She always always felt…fake? *shudder* I know several people reading this will likely say “omgosh How Dare I relegate Rachel to “fake”? But the truth is, most of her stuff just seemed disingenuous. And maybe it was just me…but I didn’t keep up with her but I could say it did NOT shock me at all to hear her getting divorced. She’s a large part of this “self” encouraging movement. “Do it for yourself” or “make yourself happy” or “stay self motivated. You deserve it.” And “What do YOU deserve? YOU deserve happiness and fulfillment, look to ‘yourself’ to find your truth.” As if truth isn’t objective in nature and self fulfillment doesn’t lead to selfish and self seeking tendencies. And I mean, I get it. Being motivated and striving for greatness are all well and dandy but at the end of the day you’re not suppose to prioritize yourself over others in relationships…that’s how they fall apart. One person starts thinking a little more about themselves than the other. I don’t presume to know what happened in her marriage…and I’m sure everyone else in the comments would love to pull apart any analysis I lend to it…but I can say I totally agree with you. And I wish Rachel and Dave much happiness in their divorce…I hope it helps her to grow …ahem…up. lol

  4. With you Cassy. I read “Girl wash your face”. Vaguely wondered who wore the pants in the relationship akchooally. But l love her patter (especially encouraging around the hair extensions) and yours as well Cassy btw. (Invigorating)
    Was browsing for updates on the situation. Thought , hell if she’s tanked her marriage then surely she’s written a book about it and not tabbed it up against the one about her bros suicide which I hadn’t gotten to yet as the subject matter is so taxing. Yep. She has. As thouroughly bad taste as bong water in June.

  5. THANK YOU- this is absolutely spot-on. Hard hard hard yikes re: this new book. If Rachel just stopped writing it would benefit us all.

  6. Wow! Said perfectly. I tried to get into her book. Girl, Wash Your Face. Im always looking to read Christian Authors who write personal development. However, her book is so “me centered” it only came across as vain, fake false teachings. I was expecting more God centered… but the selfishness was just too much. After that I just didn’t pick up another book of hers.

  7. I happened upon this article and I’m so glad I did. I couldn’t have said it better myself. And if you’ve seen her latest TikTok video that she doesn’t want to be relatable – vile. She’s built her brand on togetherness and empowerment but she’s further separating herself from her original narrative.

    • I agree with you, Amy. Well said!
      How sad it is to see everyone judge someone else’s life when it is not their own! Dave has moved on very quickly, openly, and publicly and no one is shaming him. Life happens. Divorce happens. Worry about your own life!

  8. As someone going through divorce at a similar time as she had. I found her words helpful, they were my own feelings of grief and sadness and confusion. She did a great job in my opinion to verbalize the same rollercoaster I had gone through. I thoroughly believe she did not start this book or intend to profit off of divorce. That is downright cruel to assume. As someone who was married for 17 years I know my marriage was on a terrible downward spiral… and even when you do sort of “see it coming” the actual tearing of the bandaid off is not something you see coming. It is raw and painful.

    I think anyone can tear anyone else down easily. We are all human and fall short, she had just out herself out in the world and done it more publicly. I would argue that Rachel has helped many more women than not. So grateful I don’t have a microscope put on everything that I do.

  9. I wonder how all the commenters on here feel now-after witnessing the inexcusable, embarrassing , cringeworthy behavior of RH in the past month. Eat your words much? Good-you should. RH has shown her true colors via her embarrassing Harriet Tubman video where she throws it in everyone face that she’s basically better than the general population. White privilege at its finest. Rachel-you dug your own grave with this one. Your public apology (clearly written by your publicist), is not going to cut it this time. Know why? Because it’s as fake and phony as you. Cassidy-you saw her for who she is long before this review. Kudos to you for having the gall to express your own opinion. It was spot on.

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