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Rachel's Holiday [Paperback]

Marian Keyes
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 30 2005

Here's Rachel Walsh, twenty-seven and the miserable owner of size 8 feet. She has regular congress with Luke Costello, a man who wears his leather trousers tight. And she's fond — some might say too fond — of recreational drugs.

Until everything goes pearshaped and she finds herself being frogmarched to the Cloisters - Dublin's answer to the Betty Ford Clinic. She's outraged. Surely she's not thin enough to be an addict? But on the bright side, she's heard that rehab places are wall-to-wall jucuzzis, gymnasiums and rock stars going tepid turkey. Besides, it's about time she had a little holiday.

Rachel isn't expecting plump, middle-aged men in brown jumpers, and more group therapy than you can shake a stick at. That — alarmingly — she seems to be expected to join in with. Who cares for introspection when all there is to look at is damaged and broken?

Heartsick and Luke-sick, she seeks redemption in the shape of Chris, a Man with a Past. A man who might be more trouble than he's worth.

Rachel is airlifted from addiction to the unfamiliar terrain of adulthood, via a love story or two, in a novel by turns poignant, powerful and seriously funny.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Irish by birth but a trendy New Yorker for the past eight years, Rachel Walsh learns just what it means to have too much fun in this lively drama about addiction and recovery. Rachel enjoys cocaine, alcohol and meeting men in bars, especially men wearing tight leather pants. She can match anybody's hilarious anecdotes about a Catholic childhood, but recently her life's gone awry, and God has become "more like a celestial stand-up comic" than a "benign old guy with long hair." When she wakes up in a hospital emergency room and finds she's been diagnosed as a suicidal drug addict, she's enraged. She's also broke and unemployed, and her boyfriend has abandoned her. As a final indignity, her father takes her back home and books her into Dublin's Betty Ford-like clinic, the Cloisters. Famous for a clientele of rock stars, it should be a glamorous spa, but it isn't. Quarters are spartan, clients do housework and group therapy is humiliating. It could be worse, though, and there's one good-looking fellow-inmate who might, or might not, be a lifeline post-Cloisters. This novel isn't a how-to on overcoming addiction but an examination, often comic, of treatment that is expected to result in personality changes necessary for recovery. Smart-ass Rachel actually becomes a beguiling heroine after learning to wake up and cook eggs at about the same time in the morning she used to fall into somebody's bed in New York. Clever badinage ("the only way to get over one man is get under another") unfortunately sometimes gives way to phrases like "pantie-meltingly gorgeous." The narrative is overlong, and the characters rarely speakAthey yell or shriekAbut, overall, Keyes's stylish wit keeps readers attentive, and her take on addiction is insightful and compassionate. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

The story of 27-year-old drug addict Rachel Walsh, who is sent to The Cloisters, an Irish Betty Ford Clinic, is hardly a holiday as Keyes details virtually every moment of addiction, struggle, and denial. Not that one expects quick cures, but the novel suffers from an agonizingly slow pace as almost 60 chapters (ten of the 12 tapes) unwind before Rachel begins to acknowledge her problems. The romantic subplot with fellow addict Chris, battling her love/hate memories of New York City hunk Luke, is predictable. Rachel herself evokes little sympathy. The humor is appropriately dark and ironic, while Gerri Halligan's reading balances Rachel's inner turmoil and the group therapy rhetoric and banter well. Of limited interest, except for very patient Romance audiences. Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rachel's Holiday is a Treat! March 18 2007
By Menzies
Format:Paperback
If you are looking for the type of storyline that will take the character through a journey - then this is the book for you. Rachel Walsh, sister to the other Walsh characters (Claire from Watermelon, Maggie from Angels), has to come to terms with her drug addiction while she is in rehab at the demands of her family. This book is unique because it doesn't hide the ugly truth of drug addiction, and you also get a good idea of Rachel's progress through Marian's description of her thoughts and physical withdrawal symptoms. If you are looking for a book that isn't about the will she / won't she get the guy - then pick up Rachel's Holiday. It's a good read on a uncommon topic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Find myself missing the Walsh family... May 10 2011
Format:Paperback
I don't know what it is about these characters but I am absolutely in love with each and every one of them. After I read Rachel's holiday, I plowed through another 4 books by Marian Keyes in succession. Each book is such a fun read, but Rachel's Holiday will always be my fav. Just ordered Last Chance Saloon, lets see if she can do it again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Carrie
Format:Hardcover
Keyes does an amazing job at taking drug addiction, and turning it into an engaging, funny and heartwarming story. She also helps create empathy with a group of people who can sometimes be outcasts. Great job, Keyes!

For my full review, click below:

[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addiction At It's Best Nov. 28 2006
By Cash
Format:Paperback
This, like all her other books is a great read. I laughed out loud and at the same time my heart ached for Rachel. It's one of those books you will re-read again and again. A must read especially for anyone who works in the addiction field or has been to treatment. I recommend it to all my clients, co-workers and friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!! June 10 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the second book of Keyes' that I read (after Watermelon) and it was absolutely fantastic. Way better than I was expecting after being disapointed by Watermelon. The story of Rachel and her drug addiction is real-life, inspiring, hilarious and heartwarming. I could not put this book down! It was also the icing on top of the cake to realize that Rachel is part of the same family (the Walshes) as Claire in Watermelon (and as I later found out, Maggie in Angels). Its really neat to hear of updates on the other members of the crazy Walsh family! While Rachel's Holiday is an easy read, it is also completely different from your usual girly "lay-on-the-beach" read. It tackles a completely different topic but still manages to be funny and gripping! I totally LOVED this book!!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I can't put it down Oct. 21 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a great book, but unfortunately I have a hard time putting it down! The story of Rachel is just wonderful as she battles drug addiction, beginning with denying there is a problem at all. She goes to a treatment facility and as the story unfolds she begins to admit she has a problem and reflects on her life. The chemistry between Rachel and Luke is just so well written you can feel it. Not all the characters are very likeable, but that is real life too. I would love to read more about Rachel. Great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for every girlfriend July 27 2004
By Robin
Format:Paperback
This book has been purchased and given away to 12 different friends. I recommend it to anyone that has seen the addictive personality up close and have had addiction professionals use it as a fun guide to recovery. I love all of Marion Keyes books, but this one and Last Chance Saloon are my favorite rereads. I haunt the bookstores waiting for every new book to hit the shelves and share my joy with my reading girlfriends. Thanks for the joy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting May 1 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Yet again another story by Marian Keyes that I could not put down. I am always eager to read one of her books.
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