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When I read this book I hadn't read the blurb so didn't know what to expect and my goodness it was brilliant!
I had not read a Marian Keyes book before and had been told she was 'feel good chick lit' I wasn't expecting the story to be so deep.
The story tells of Rachel who believes she is going on holiday, so completely in denial is she that she has a problem she cannot understand why the spa where she is going is more like a rehab centre... it takes a long time for her to admit that she has a problem and she is in fact getting help.
What is great about this book is that although it is about something serious, someone struggling with a drug addiction it is actually very light-hearted without being patronising or unreal. It has so much wit and funny elements to it that you do not get bogged down in the seriousness of it.
The characters created are great. Rachel is nothing like me yet I felt as though I could relate to her by the way that Marian Keyes had created her.
Throughout her stay at the rehab centre Rachel has flashbacks which tell us the reader about what happened and so as we get to know who she is and what she has done it is as though Rachel is learning about herself too. It's really interesting to see how she changes and grows as a person.
Rachel is part of The walsh family who Keyes has featured in other books too with each sister being the lead in a book. I think this makes it all the more interesting.
I really recommend this book. It was my first keyes novel and definitely my favourite. I simply loved it.
I could read Marian Keyes' writing for forever and a day. She has a humorous way of writing, and an ability to write what everyone else is thinking, but in a way which seems to still manage to take serious issues, well, seriously. She doesn't shy away from getting down to the nitty gritty, for example, Rachel's drug addiction in this book. Rachel, an Irish woman living in New York is in a haze of partying with her best friend and room-mate and wallowing in despair about her size 8 feet. After an 'attempted suicide bid' she is flown home to the bosom of her crazy family (who you might well have read about in other Marion Keyes books) where they proceed to try and help her kick her habit in their own unusual and very funny way. I thought this book was extremely well written, and I would recommend it to anyone. Even if you haven't been interested in reading a Marion Keyes book before, or maybe you have read one but you found it a bit heavy going, I would still insist that you pick up a copy of this book. Due to her ability to create characters in a wholehearted, and sensitive, but revealing way, I felt like I knew the characters personally, and I was sharing a difficult part of their lives with them. The only disadvantage of this book for me would be that I thought it was slightly drawn out. I think the conclusion of the book could have come a little sooner. But if you are someone who is looking for a book to take on holiday with you for example, then this could be the one for you! Its witty, light-hearted, but holds a slightly darker subject matter that is handled with sensitivity. All round, a good, enjoyable read.
I often choose what books to read by observing others. On the tube to work one morning I bizarrely noticed about 2 women (on different aspects of my journey) reading this book, and thought maybe it was a sign to give this book a read as it was clearly quite popular. After being absolved in the Crime-thriller genre of books for sometime, when I read the summary of this book on amazon I was slightly intrigued and so decided to give it a try.
Rachel's holiday is a stark comedy, yet at the same time conveys the denial and sheer normality some people may have in regards to the taking of drugs. Based on her experience in "glamorous" rehab, but with chapters delving back to her past in New York to explain the underlying root of her drug problems is captivating, and humorous, a feat I would not expect in the same book! However, Marian Keyes does it with ease. I have not read any of Marian Keyes, before and would hopefully like to read more of them in the future. For me there was a small problem with this book. Whilst I was reading it, I was perfectly happy, and could easily get involved but it was not an anticipating page turner. It is not one of the books which you just can't put down, and once it is down I often forgot about it. I think it took me about 6 months to finish (I read others in between) and by the end I was simply forcing myself to read it, as I hate leaving books unread, I like to feel as though my mission is accomplished in a sense! It took very long, for the book to draw to the reasons behind Rachel's addiction to drink and drugs, often skirting around other subject that were never particularly resolved (her relationship with her parents and sisters) and once she was out of rehab, the storyline pretty much seemed to span a pointless chapter involving another guy, but of course the love of her life comes back and they all live happily ever after! *yawn* I am a lover of reading, and had just hoped it would have had a more original ending!
I received a copy of Rachels Holiday by Marian Keyes as part of the 'World Book Night 2011 giveaway' - I do read a lot of books in all different genres, but I must admit when I read the back cover of 'Rachels Holiday' I did wonder whether it was for me. Marian Keyes is known for her chic-lit style of writing, but this book is a bit more 'meaty'. The book is about Rachel, a 27 year old Irish Girl who begrudgingly goes into rehab for her drug 'problem' - She only agrees to go as she believes that re-hab will be full of rock stars, celebrities and that she will have access to 24 hour Spa Treatments. Rachels 'problem' it turns out is that she is the last person to realise that she does actually need help. The book begins with Rachel in complete denial and gradually as the pages turn you have chapters which delve into the life she has been living for the past couple of years and it becomes glaringly obvious to all but Rachel that she is indeed an addict. Marion Keyes has such a brilliant way of briging her characters to life, and even though in real life, I probably wouldn't like someone like Rachel, the way Marian has written her character, you can't help but start to like her and hope that she sorts herself out.
Despite the heavy subject matter, I didn't feel like the book was depressing in any way, shape or form - quite a feat for MArian Keyes to have acheived and I would really recomend this book to anyone whether you are a Marian Keyes fan or not
I love Maron Keyes and, in this book, you can just hear her voice coming through loud and clear. The basic premise is that Rachel is an Irish girl in New York living the high life with Bridget and Rachel's boyfriend Luke.. However she has returned to Ireland and her family following a supposed suicide bid and the family have placed her into rehab in order to help Rachel kick her drug habit. The book then alternates between Ireland and Rachels attempts to deal with the situation and denials that she is drug dependant, and New York and the history of Rachel's life leading up to the suicide bid.
As you would expect from Marion Keyes this is real chick lit - easy to read with self depricating characters and a sense of humour. However it also has a depth of knowledge - most notably the wonderful counsellings scenes in rehab.
I wont spoil the ending but I was fascinated by the different characters within rehab and their personal stories. Having never experienced rehab myself I can only presume that the treatment details are authentic but they certainly resonated with me.
Reading any Marion Keyes is a delight and like the author talking directly to me. Rachel's holiday really confronts the social issues of addiction without ever preaching to the reader.
I have read a few of Marian Keyes books, after getting Sushi for beginers in a magazine for free and I've been hooked since.
I bought this book whilst in Cornwall for something to read and I have to say I think it's the best Marian Keyes book I've read yet.
Its starts with Rachel a young irish women living in New York with her best friend, both like partying, booze and drugs. Rachel meets a guy called Luke who she likes but doesn't like being seen with, Lukes is also anti-drugs. Whilst Rachels friend clears herself up and gets a promotion, Rachels drug problem spirals out of control, leaving her family & friends to send her into rehab and thats where the story really begins.
In rehab Rachel meets all types of people from different backgrounds with different addictions example: Drugs, Gambling, Drink..etc
The book takes you through her journey through rehab and after rehab.
I don't want to ruin the story, so I wont tell you anymore about the book, apart from at times it had me laughing and sometimes it made me sad, I could empathise with the character as she is so well written and sometimes feel like your really there in the room.
I enjoyed all the characters and I have recommended the book to a few people, who I know will enjoy this book just as much as me.
Having read and enjoyed a few Marian Keyes books recently, Rachel's Holiday was the next on the list and it comes to the usual standard I now expect from Keyes.
Rachel is a 27-year old Irish girl living in New York with her best friend Brigit. Her life is an endless whirl of drugs and booze, she is always the life and soul of the party and she has a hunk of a man to fulfil her every desire. Her life is practicaly perfect....isn't it?
Well, clearly, no it's not. Rachel gets shipped back to Ireland after accidentally taking an overdose which lands her in hospital. Her shamed parents sign her up for a 3-month stint at the local Rehab Clinic and Rachel thinks that actually it might be quite nice to get away for three months, to relax and spend her days in the swimming pool or sauna. But shortly after she arrives at The Cloisters it becomes painfully clear that there is no swimming pool and there is no sauna. All there is, is endless cooking, cleaning, cups of tea and therapy sessions. But Rachel doesn't need therapy because she's only a recreational drug-user and soon the staff at The Cloisters wil realise that...
Rachel's Holiday is a light-hearted look at drug-addiction(well, as light-hearted as it can get anyway) and covers not only the seedier side of it but also the more socially acceptable face of cocaine use. The book is set in 'real time' although Keyes dips in and out of of Rachel's past as Rachel comes to terms with her addiction and how it affected those round her.
As with all chick-lit books, although Rachel goes through hell on her journey, she does come out the other side and things work out alright in the end.
A wonderful read
Rachel's Holiday is a wonderful example of the Marian Keyes' writing. I won't go into the plot details too much, as so many other reviews of this book have done that for me already. Suffice to say that the main character is Rachel and her "holiday" is not so much one that entails going down to the beach and chilling out, but one that involves facing up to the reality of what her life has become and whether she wants to change that.
What I find most appealing about Ms Keyes' book, is the way in which it makes you laugh out loud for the majority of the time and then hits you with the true state of affairs which, in Rachel's case, is far from laughable.
Regardless of the serious nature of Rachel's challenges however, the author still manages to leave the reader feeling positive about life and gives one reassurance that many issues can be overcome with the love and support of friends and family. A wonderful message, I think.
Rachel Walsh is the main character who is a Dublin girl living in New York with her best friend Brigit and her long haired lover Luke Costello.
They have a wild old time with drink and dabbling in recreational drugs until it becomes clear that Rachel's use isn't just social anymore. The reader accompanies her on her hilarious and painful journey, as she is whisked back to Dublin to rehab after an apparent overdose. She attends a place called the Cloisters which she only agreed to go to at the hope of seeing some popstars!
She is distracted by fellow addict Chris, who she hopes can help her forget Luke, who has washed his hands of his drug addicted girlfriend.
This book is a laugh out loud and cry out loud tale of an addict's denial, realisation and acceptance.
I have read this book more times than I can count and each time it never fails to make me laugh and cry. Thats the thing with Marian Keyes, she has the amazing ability to make her readers do both in pretty much all her books.
I picked this book up for 50p from a car boot as part of my new year's resolution to start reading again so that I get something different to think and talk about other than my son or what has been on TV.
Although the reason I was attracted to the book was the fact that Marian has been on loose women a few times and I have found her very entertaining so hoped that her book would be the same.
The book starts when Rachel the main character is living in New York with her best Friend Brigit. She lives the party lifestyle and works to earn money to buy drugs, drink and little else. She falls for Luke who is also Irish but she battles between her own emotions and her desire to be looked up to.
After one night of too many drugs she end up in hospital having her stomach pumped and this is when her family get involved and encourage her to go to the cloisters , a rehab unit in Ireland. Rachel knows that some famous people have been there and although she doesn't believe she has a drug problem she thinks it will be like going to a spa and a chance to mix with the rich and famous.
The story from the cloisters is divided into chapters some of her life and experience in the rehab centre and the others of her memories of life with Luke in New York.
The Main characters
Rachel comes from a large Irish family but has followed her friend Brigit to work in New York. Rachel is a social climber who wants to be with the in with the in crowd, a boyfriend who everyone will be jealous. She struggles to keep her job due to partying all night and the uppers and downers of drug addiction but she is blissfully unaware she has any sort of problem and lives in a world of denial.
Luke is a down to earth Irish guy who lives with his mates. He has a different approach to life to most of the men Rachel has ever met. He has his own way of doing things which is challenging to Rachel but also makes him more intriguing.
This book was interesting. I found some parts highly amusing but other times I found it quite slow and hoped it would move on.
Having lived with an addict I definitely recognise some of the behaviours and denial that anything is wrong. It is a great journey for Rachel and one that can easily be followed.
Despite the fact it is about a drug addict it is light hearted read and certainly not a depressing read. I found myself laughing at some of the antics and misconceptions throughout the book.
The book won't change your life but will amuse you.
This book is true chic lit and I would recommend it for a light and easy read.
It is currently £ 5.69 on Amazon but they have used copies from 1p plus postage.
I have spent many years reading 'chick-lit' for want of a better description. You kow the type; young girl stuck in dead end job with idiot boyfriend. Terrible things happen then she ends up with perfect boyfriend and brand new job. Etc. The end. And yes I do admit to liking them, it's a little bit of escapism. When I first picked up Marian Keye's Rachel's Holiday I was expecting pretty much the same story. And I am happy to say I was thoroughly surprise!
Marian Keyes bases a lot of her books around one family, each book concentrating on a different sibling. This book is, obviously, based around the character of Rachel. A young Irish girl living in New York, going out drinking, smoking and 'dabbling' in drugs. I could not put this book down as I read about Rachel's descent into alcohol and drug addiction; it was terrifying how easily it could happen and without the person even knowing.
Rachel's family and friends intervene and she is sent to a rehab centre. Rachel, expecting spas, massages, fresh fruit etc has the shock of her life when she sees the reality! I don't want to say too much but it is a genuinely touching story.
Marian Keyes has done her research for this book and drawn on past experiences; Keyes herself was in rehab for a period of time to recover from alcohol addicition. This reflects in this well written and thought provoking book. I would recommend this book to everyone and I'm sure you'll soon be ordering the rest of Keyes books as well!
Another great book from Marion Keyes. Rachel's Holiday is a book from a series (still awaiting the last part!) about a typical Irish family. Rachel, the 2nd eldest daughter has moved to New York with her friend, where she has a Real Man boyfriend that she's only slightly ashamed to be seen with, and a social life to be proud of.
Except she's actually being taking drugs. And a lot of them at that.
After a near-miss wuth an overdose (it was only a misunderstanding, surely anyone can see that?), Rachel's family decide to bring her home to Dublin...and send her to rehab.
Rachel's quite happy with the idea- that means all day spas and mixing with celebs, right? Only, she can't quite see any celebs, and there doesn't seem to be much pampering going on...
Marian Keyes tackles this subject sensitively, while still getting in her usual humous and great characters- Helen is a highlight in any of these books!
The books I've read previously from Marion Keyes have been pure fluff, of the sugary sweet romance variety. This is made of slightly sterner stuff.
Rachel is addicted to drugs. Oh, she'll tell you she isn't - she'll tell you that she just takes them for fun, that everyone does it, that if you were a bit cooler you would understand. But when her roommate finds her passed out, she panics and calls an ambulance, and next thing Rachel knows the word "overdose" is being thrown around, and she's being sent home to family, who in turn send her to rehab.
Still, rehab can't be that bad can it? After all celebrities go there. They couldn't be TOO bad to them.
Marion Keyes has managed a difficult subject admirably with this book. I'm impressed by the way she handles Rachel's mindset, writing believably through her conviction that no, she doesn't have a problem, really.
It might be a bit meatier and more depressing than most fluff, and lacking the happy romance ending, but at £5.59 on Amazon Rachel's Holiday is well worth a read.
Rachels Holiday is chick-lit, theres no doubt about that. We can tell this at a glance because it is pink, has a pair of shoes on the cover and a girls name in the title. Oh and because its by Marian Keyes, one of the undisputed queens of the genre along with Jane Green, Sophie Kinsella et al.
Now, I have eclectic tastes in literature, as my choice of previous review subjects might suggest, and while it isnt my staple reading matter, I have been known to dip my toe into the waters of the dreaded chick-lit. (Incidentally, its interesting how that slightly derogatory term is now used as a catch-all to describe and to some extent dismiss any literature (lit as we must now call it) by or about young women. Some of this is absolutely dire, some of it actually pretty good. If in doubt, stick a picture of a pair of shoes or a handbag on the cover, throw in plenty of pink for good measure, and there you have it chick-lit in an easily identifiable, marketable package.)
Irish writer Marian Keyes is one of the most popular and successful practitioners of this genre, and its easy to see why. Unlike some of her contemporaries, Keyes can actually write pretty well, and she knows how to be funny, which is a big plus. She has now written eight novels since her debut, Watermelon, as well as two non-fiction collections, Under the Duvet and Further Under the Duvet. Rachels Holiday was first published in 1998.
Although the title might suggest a hefty dose of beaches, sun lotion and flings with gorgeous foreign waiters, Rachels Holiday actually isnt about that at all. The novel opens in New York, where 27-year-old Rachel Walsh is sharing a flat with a friend and living life a little too much in the fast lane for comfort. One unfortunate encounter with the hospital emergency room and one panicked phone call to her parents from her friend Brigit later, Rachels sister has been despatched by her horrified parents to drag her back home to Ireland at all costs. Thoroughly unimpressed by these events after all, her fondness for a few recreational drugs is hardly a problem, is it? Shes hardly an addict, after all, theyre skeletally thin, have dirty hair, track marks and spend all their time hanging around run-down tower blocks, right? Rachel is slightly mollified to learn that her parents plan to check her into The Cloisters, Irelands answer to The Priory. She doesnt need rehab, of course not, but the prospect of wall-to-wall celebrities, luxurious spa treatments and so on sounds quite appealing itll be just like a holiday. Wont it? Needless to say, it doesnt work out quite as Rachel expects, and the route to recovery and a little more self-knowledge is not always an easy one ..
Less about sex and shopping than addiction and self-deception, Rachels Holiday is nonetheless witty, upbeat and surprisingly compelling as Keyes charts Rachels journey through humiliating group-therapy sessions and more, among a selection of fellow inmates who are not quite what she had anticipated. Theres plenty of pop psychology here, but its strangely gripping at the same time.
Marian Keyes has been open about her own struggles with alcoholism, and it is clear that she has drawn on her experience in writing this novel, although Rachels issues are with drugs rather than alcohol. It may not sound like the stuff of romantic comedy but Keyes somehow manages to pull it off, without unduly minimising the dangers and difficulties of addiction. OK, its no Trainspotting and is hardly a walk on the wild side (look, its pink and has shoes on the cover, what did you expect?) but it does at least attempt to grapple, in an entertaining way, with some difficult issues. Rachel is a likeable heroine whose irrepressible wit alongside her often-overflowing anger and tears keeps us reading although at over 600 pages, the book may be a bit over-long, and the ending is a little too pat and predictable. Still, engaging characters, an unconventional setting and some laugh-out-loud moments make this an appealing read.
Cover price £7.99 available new from Amazon for £6.39, or used from £2.00. Recommended for a light, unchallenging read with slightly more depth than the usual sex, shopping and searching-for-Mr-Right fodder.
I have read quite a few of Marian Keyes books recently (something to do with the job lot I bagsied on eBay not long ago!) I have a very wide range of reading tastes from historical romance books to Shaun Hutson gore fests! I fancied a change and after the popularity of all the hype about Brigit Jones type thirty-something books, I thought I would give them a go. Rachel?s Holiday was the third Marian Keyes book I have read, and in my opinion one of her better ones. The Characters Obviously Rachel is the star turn in this book. Rachel Walsh is approaching thirty, living in New York, had a history of tragic failed romances and has finally found a boyfriend who she has been with a few months and that she actually likes. She is a bit of a fashion victim, well Ok a lot of a fashion victim. She had a council house upbringing in Ireland, with parents that she felt she could never please no matter how hard she tried. Her sisters were always better, smarter and higher achievers than she felt she ever could be, hence the move to America to escape them. She lives with Brigit, also another Irish gal, in a small New York apartment, they party hard, drink hard and dabble in the odd bit of cocaine. Luke Costello, her boyfriend has always been a bit of an embarrassment to her by the clothes he wears and his hairstyle, even if there is a deep attraction there. Not exactly New York chic! The Plot The books starts off with Rachel telling us that she is accused of being a drug addict. One slight accidental overdose, and everyone believes that she?s a smack head! She is flown back home to Ireland to start a drug rehabilitation program in The Cloisters, Dublin?s version of The Betty Ford Clinic, on the insistence of her family. She finds the whole prospect quite exciting, and fully expects there to be at least 1 A list celebrity in there. Not to mention the sauna, swimming pool, gym and five star treatment she is expecting. She
is convinced that her folks are over reacting to a bit of recreational drug taking and that she will be back in New York before she knows it. Marian tells the story in flashback format, starting with the overdose and slowly, over the course of the book telling of the events which lead up to it. This of course is all punctuated with life in The Cloisters, which is nothing like she imagined. In The Cloisters she meets several eccentric characters, who are all in for various addictions. She has to share a room with Chaquie, an alcoholic who won?t stop talking and annoys Rachel to distraction. She sits in various therapy session and listens to everyone?s stories. Some of which fill her with horror and disgust. She denies that any of her behaviour could possibly have been that bad. And then Luke and Brigit come to one of her sessions, and fill in a few blanks which had been forgotten in a drug clouded fog and she comes to the realisation that she may have overdone things a little bit. She leans on Chris, a rather handsome drug addict himself and opens her heart to him, hoping for a little romance to alleviate the boredom. Over the course of the treatment she goes through just about every emotion possible and faces some very uncomfortable truths about herself. She watches as all around her the other patients experience the same, and learns the series of emotions, which she will have to experience in order to become well. The book deals with the sensitive issue of addiction very well, it handles the emotional issues which affect all friends and families of an addict with sensitivity and very believably. There are also some hysterically funny parts when I actually caught myself laughing out loud. But also makes the reader aware of how this could quite easily happen to someone like us, or someone we love. The only real problem I have with this and indeed most Marian Keyes books is the fact that the leading ladies are
high flier independent type women who all come from Ireland and who all have alcoholic fathers and tyrannical mothers. They all flat share and all end up coming back to Ireland because of some woe or another. The good points about her writing is that she has a wicked sense of humour and some of the banters between the characters are brilliantly written and utterly hilarious. She also has the gift of getting every 25+ woman to identify with the little frustrations in life as you get older. All in all it?s a good book that I would recommend to anyone wanting a light hearted view of the world with a slightly different twist from all the Bridget Jones and Notting Hill romances that are about these days.