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Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes (final thoughts)

February 23, 2011

From the author’s website:
Meet Rachel Walsh. She has a pair of size 8 feet and such a fondness for recreational drugs that her family has forked out the cash for a spell in Cloisters – Dublin’s answer to the Betty Ford Clinic. She’s only agreed to her incarceration because she’s heard that rehab is wall-to-wall jacuzzis, gymnasiums and rock stars going tepid turkey – and it’s about time she had a holiday.
But what Rachel doesn’t count on are the toe-curling embarrassments heaped on her by family and group therapy, the dearth of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll – and missing Luke, her ex. What kind of a new start in life is this?

Oh how I’ve missed Marian Keyes’ writing. I didn’t even realize how much until I turned to the first page of Rachel’s Holiday. I’ve loved (almost) all the books I’ve read by Keyes, but her Walsh Sisters books are by far my favourites. This was my fourth visit with this family – the other three visits having occurred with Watermelon (focussing on the eldest of the five Walsh daughters, Claire), Anybody Out There? (second youngest daughter Anna), and Angels (second oldest Margaret). Rachel’s Holiday is about middle child Rachel, who has left Ireland for an exciting new life in New York with her BFF Brigit.

Rachel’s Holiday starts with the intervention. Rachel’s goody-two-shoes sister and brother-in-law show up on her NYC doorstep stating that the family has decided she needs help with her drug problem, a problem she doesn’t think she has. Eventually she grudgingly goes along with it and heads back to Ireland. During her stint in the rehab centre, the reader gets to see flashbacks of events leading up to the final tipping point – Rachel in the hospital having her stomach pumped (not a spoiler, that’s revealed in the first couple pages).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (many times, I’m sure), I love how Marian Keyes tackles serious issues in her books. She manages to take characters in difficult situations, make them relatable and their story fun without making light of what they’re going through.

If you’ve enjoyed other books by Marian Keyes or books by authors such as Jane Green or Emily Giffin, I highly recommend giving Rachel’s Holiday a shot.

My rating: 8/10
Soundtrack Saturday

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2011 4:44 am

    Wow. This sounds good. I don’t really read about such things but it’s good to know which author to try when I want to. Great review.

  2. February 24, 2011 3:57 am

    I’m also big fan of Marian Keyes and her Walsh Sisters series. I’m waiting for Helen’s book. This one in particular was well done. A lot of thought and care went into it. You’re right on how Keyes is able to write about such series issues and making her characters relatable. If you haven’t read Sushi for Beginners yet I highly recommend it. Good review!

  3. February 24, 2011 10:56 am

    I have not ready anything by Marian Keyes but now I have to go find some.

  4. February 25, 2011 11:02 pm

    I haven’t read Marian Keyes, but this really makes me want to give her books a try. I have a friend who’s a fan, and I have yet to know what she’s talking about :)

  5. March 1, 2011 8:36 am

    For as much as I love chick lit, I can’t believe I’ve never read anything by Marian Keyes! I’ve had Watermelon in my bookcase for years now . . . sounds like I’m missing out. Thanks for reminding me to pick her up soon!

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