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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 holidayBut 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?

10 thoughts on “Rachel's Holiday

  1. says:

    I waffled between five and four stars for all of ten seconds before deciding on five simply because of my sheer inability to be rational about this novel I fell in love with Rachel and I have no idea why If I hadn't picked this up at a library sale when my impulse control was at it's lowest I wouldn't have it at all There's literally nothing about this book from the cover to the genre to the jacket copy to make me think I'd enjoy it or that it was my kind of book Because it really isn'tIn fact my first thought on opening the book on a whim a year after putting it on my shelf not an uncommon phenomenon was oh nice typeface Rachel's story was convincing and compelling if only because the reader is so well grounded in her mental state—she's all over the place emotionally and never seems to notice but you still get a sense of who she really is under all the drugs And even knowing that she's in trouble than she thinks she is Rachel's done a thorough job of hiding from herself so as bad as it is you're almost as shocked as she is when confrontedEven that wouldn't be enough to give in five stars in my mental rating system but when Rachel is forced to remember her early childhood I abruptly found myself in tears I haven't connected so strongly to a character in I don't know how long And I don't know why it's Rachel either If I were anyone in this novel I'd be Margaret the 'brownose' But for Rachel I spent much of the second half of the novel in tears for her and was so proud of her recovery Bizarre but this unexpected total empathy is exactly why I read and I haven't experienced it for a while

  2. says:

    I picked this up thinking Great a fun book about a girl named Rachel who goes on vacation Except not so much Turns out her holiday view spoileris to rehab because she has serious substance abuse problems But if you think this book sounds like a horrible downer it's not hide spoiler

  3. says:

    This book was as awesome as I expected based on Krystal's high praise of it Watermelon was pretty good but this was way better I'm not sure if it's better than Lucy Sullivan though I haven't read the author's essays apecifically about her alcholism but I can only assume that she drew on some of her own experience with addiction to write this It's fascinating to experience the transformation of Rachel with Rachel To learn things as she learns them to see her experiences through her eyes In the first part of the book she doesn't seem like some out of control crazy addict Because you only really see her behavior as she sees it Later you learn about how she really was acting the things she was doing as an Oh yeah I kinda was that way retrospective and it's eye opening I'm not explaining this well but I know what I mean Just the way the author unveiled things for you and kept you in Rachel's head and state of mind was very well doneAlso in general I really like the way the author can take what appears to be fun chick lit and then all of a sudden it's like whoa serious life stuff happening here kinda like real life

  4. says:

    Was recommended by a friend Thoroughly enjoyed itBlog | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn

  5. says:

    I think this is my favorite Walsh sister novel It’s dark depressive sad but thanks to Ms Keyes’ extraordinary sense of humor and witty but also realistic approach to the addiction eating disorder self destruction and emotional insecurities hooks us from the beginningRachel’s rehab journey and facing the truths about her life family sisterhood her shame faults self harming is remarkable story steals a special place of your heart And Ms Keyes is still my favorite emotional rom com author who is brave enough to bring out heavy issues with characters and make us accept and love them with their flaws and faults

  6. says:

    From my book blog I really hate the term “chick lit” don’t you? It is utterly dismissive and totally misleading Take a look at this book cover It looks like chick lit It was written by a woman IT MUST BE FLUFFY AND RIDICULOUS RIGHT?No No it is not This book is devastating I know she wasn’t the first one but I blame Sophie Kinsella and her godawful Shopaholic books with their stupid pink covers for starting the whole chick lit thing Have I mentioned that I really fucking hate those books? I hate them so much that my hatred of them is totally derailing this review I’ll get back to them eventuallyRachel’s Holiday came very highly recommended by my friends Jana and Ali both of whom mentioned that this was one of the few books that has been with them many years through various moves bookshelf cleanouts etc Both of their copies were falling apart They said it was amazing And it WASAs you may have guessed the leading lady is Rachel an Irish 20 something living the party life in New York In the first few pages she overdoses on pills and has to get her stomach pumped Through a “huge misunderstanding” she is deemed a drug addict and sent back to Ireland for rehabThat’s all I want to say about the plot because one of the great pleasures of this book is the way it unfolds It’s written in first person from Rachel’s POV and seeing her life fall apart through her eyes is insane It’s soul crushing You think everything is going just fine and then Marian Keyes slips in these little bombs Remember when you took 10th grade English and you studied Poe and your teacher talked to you about unreliable narrators? And you never thought you would ever talk about that sort of thing again unless you were a huge nerd like me? Well saddle up and get ready to check your facts because we are talking about unreliable narrators RIGHT FUCKING NOW It makes the whole book ten times interesting than a regular story of transformation and growth and all that shitI would not expect that “soul crushing” and “maddeningly addictive” would describe the same book but here we are I furiously texted Jana while I was on a fucking treadmill at the gym where I was running and also reading Rachel’s Holiday on Kindle I was texing Ali “OH MY GOD DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?” while I was trying to read and cook dinner at the same time Warning Do not try this at home unless you want a shitty dinnerSo yeah I loved this book I give it an A I worship Marian Keyes for proving that chick lit or alternately a book written by a woman for a largely female audience doesn’t have to suck

  7. says:

    Whatever Mairan Keyes is sellingI'm buying Rachel's Holiday was wonderful and touching It is a talent to take subjects that are so seriouse and bring laughter and humor to them What a uirky fun sense of humor Marian must have This book delved into the world of addicts It was honest insightful and very human I felt a great attatchment to Rachel the heroin I would laugh with her and then find myself crying over her heartache I think I understood her She had a lot of similar feelings and thoughts that I sometimes have It's hard to live in this world when you want to please everybody I couldn't put this book down and yet I knew that I didn't want to come to the last page Really great

  8. says:

    This book was not at all what I was expecting I thought it would be light fluffy and trivial and what I got in reality was a horrible glimpse into the mirror of addiction and saw myself staring backRachel's Holiday follows 27 year old Rachel who lives in New York and parties like there's no tomorrow until there almost isn't one She's shipped off back to Ireland by her loopy family where she finds herself in a drug treatment centre I found this to be an unexpectedly good read on many levels For one the subject matter was much darker than I thought it would be Two the way Keyes allows the reader to glimpse and of Rachel slowly twisting the way you see her from Rachel's own perspective to that of an outsider looking in on a drug addicts descent and subseuent rise from addictionThe novel touched a lot of nerves for me and some of the descriptions of what it is like to be an addict made me cry with recognition A painful read but one I am so glad I finished

  9. says:

    This was not the light chick lit read that I was expecting and as I started reading it and getting and IRRITATED by this character's addiction and denial and self destructive behaviourI thought that I HATED this bookHowever I actually uite loved it First of all I have no sympathy for addicts and I am not even shameful about that I was raised surrounded by addicts I find the behaviour selfish and irresponsible and just altogether frustrating I spent my childhood by myself raising myself and my brother and dealing with violence neglect a lack of fundamental necessitiesall things that have led me to be an adult that is decidedly NOT SYMPATHETIC to addictionAs an adult I now find that I am expected to take care of those people that were supposed to have taken care of me as a child I'm supposed to be sympathetic to liver failure emphysemia financial ruin and constant RELAPSES and it's just too muchI say all of this to put into context my reasons for really hating Rachel Her predicament was just too familiar for my tastesBut I found myself inexorably drawn into her story I couldn't put the book down I was seriously absorbed I HAD to find out how she was going to resolve her life I HAD to know if she was going to come out of denial if she was going to realize what a stupid beeyatch she wasI really needed there to be resolution for this storyWhat's interesting is that this writer didn't make the process light and fluffy Rachel had a painful and slow road to recovery Her process of denial was EXCRUCIATING for me but I came to understand her I came to see why she had been such an idiotic idiot headThis book is what the genre of chick lit is supposed to be about painful productive growth I loved it

  10. says:

    Marian Keys is the novelist that I turn to for my fluff novels Her books are fun mindless silly and sometimes shallow and I guiltily eat them all up This one was different It had the same ualities the other ones did but this one whether intentional or not set itself apart from her other booksIt has been years since I have actually read this book but it left an impression on me Maybe it’s because I went into it with such low expectations as far as depth or content I can’t be certain What I can be sure of though is that the emotional reaction I had to this character was surprisingly genuine and compassionate I’m not saying its Pulitzer material but it’s worth taking a second look at whether or not you have a disposition for “chicklets”