Rachel's Holiday

Rachel's Holiday

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 h...

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Title:Rachel's Holiday
Author:Marian Keyes
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Rachel's Holiday Reviews

  • Jayci

    Whatever Mairan Keyes is selling....I'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 quirky, 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 fee

    Whatever Mairan Keyes is selling....I'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 quirky, 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.

  • Laura

    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.

    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 done.

    Also, 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 :)

  • Wicked Incognito Now

    This was not the light chick lit read that I was expecting, and as I started reading it, and getting more and more IRRITATED by this character's addiction and denial and self-destructive behaviour....I thought that I HATED this book.

    However, I actually quite 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,

    This was not the light chick lit read that I was expecting, and as I started reading it, and getting more and more IRRITATED by this character's addiction and denial and self-destructive behaviour....I thought that I HATED this book.

    However, I actually quite 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 necessities....all things that have led me to be an adult that is decidedly NOT SYMPATHETIC to addiction.

    As 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 much.

    I say all of this to put into context my reasons for really hating Rachel. Her predicament was just too familiar for my tastes.

    But 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 was....I really needed there to be resolution for this story.

    What'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 head!

    This book is what the genre of chick lit is supposed to be about: painful productive growth. I loved it.

  • Philippa 'Nef'

    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 back.

    Rachel'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 l

    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 back.

    Rachel'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 more and more 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 subsequent rise from addiction.

    The 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.

  • Nina

    I think Marian Keyes is probably the most underrated author in the chick-lit section.

    My first book by her was "Lucy Sullivan is getting married" and it took me 2 attempts to finish it. From there, enjoying "Rachel's Holiday" was easy. It's by far my favourite Marian Keyes book. If you've never read anything by her, I suggest starting with this one. If you don't like it, I would think chances are slim you will change your mind reading the rest of them.

    Rachel's Holiday is Marian Keyes at her best.

    I think Marian Keyes is probably the most underrated author in the chick-lit section.

    My first book by her was "Lucy Sullivan is getting married" and it took me 2 attempts to finish it. From there, enjoying "Rachel's Holiday" was easy. It's by far my favourite Marian Keyes book. If you've never read anything by her, I suggest starting with this one. If you don't like it, I would think chances are slim you will change your mind reading the rest of them.

    Rachel's Holiday is Marian Keyes at her best. No other writer manages to combine the sad and the hilarious as well as she does, making you laugh and cry within the same paragraph.

    I'm not usually someone to try and guess how a story will end and find it much more enjoyable to just follow wherever the author leads me, but if you're not like me and you're looking for surprising twists and turns, then maybe this is not for you.

    I read these books in my late teens, early twenties, and I can honestly say I learned a great deal about life and relationships (especially what

    to do ;).

    If you enjoy light-hearted entertainment, a special sense of humour but want more than a shop-o-holic piling up credit card debt or an office girl obsessing about her weight, Marian Keyes is your woman!

  • Marie

    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

    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't.

    In 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 more 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 confronted.

    Even 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.

  • Jayne

    (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 b

    (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 eventually.

    Rachel’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 WAS.

    As 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 rehab.

    That’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 more interesting than a regular story of transformation and growth and all that shit.

    I 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 dinner).

    So, 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.

  • Rachel C.

    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"

    ; Marian Keyes is terrifically funny and she makes Rachel a sympathetic character and narrator.

    The first person point of view is expertly employed to hide certain things from the reader, revealing th

    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"

    ; Marian Keyes is terrifically funny and she makes Rachel a sympathetic character and narrator.

    The first person point of view is expertly employed to hide certain things from the reader, revealing them only as Rachel herself is forced to face the truth. (I'm not usually a fan of first person POV because it feels like sleight of hand or amateur hour all too often, but it's absolutely appropriate and effective here.)

    I'm glad I stuck with this book even after my initial assumption proved to be ludicrously wrong. This is one of those reads that makes you look at the world - and your own life - a little bit differently after you put it down. (It also made me consider getting a therapist to excavate my emotional baggage but I chickened out.)

  • Miko

    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 qualities the other ones did, but this one, whether intentional or not, set itself apart from her other books.

    It 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.

    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 qualities the other ones did, but this one, whether intentional or not, set itself apart from her other books.

    It 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”.

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