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Rachel's Holiday Paperback – January 29, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (January 29, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140271791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140271799
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,751,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

More About the Author

Marian Keyes lived in London for ten years before returning to her native Dublin. After receiving a law degree and studying accounting, she began writing short stories in 1993. She is the author of three previous novels--Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, and Rachel's Holiday--all major bestsellers around the world.

Customer Reviews

Many times while reading this book, I found myself laughing out loud.
J. N Sandell
This is the first book by Marian Keys that I have read and I am looking forward to reading more.
Genevieve
It's a great story, well written, very funny and very sad at the same time.
Lisa Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Bryna L. Reed on July 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There is a reason Marian Keyes is one of my favorite authors. I think I read this book nearly two years ago. I was first introduced to Marian Keyes when my husband bought me Watermelon. When I finished it I knew I needed to have more! That began my search for her books. That is when I found Amazon.co.uk. I ordered everything she had written and pre-ordered one of her books that wasn't published yet. All of the books were well worth the extra cost to ship overseas and well worth purchasing from the UK. Rachel's holiday became my favorite. Which was amazing because I swore that I couldn't find a more entertaining book than Watermelon.
Rachel's Holiday is a wonderfully entertaining book about Rachel, the sister of Watermelon's heroine Claire. Rachel is addicted to drugs and alcohol and nearly ruins her life although she thinks there isn't anything wrong. She looks at rehab as a "holiday", she could use a vacation anyway, and she might get to see some celebrities while she is there. This isn't your typical book about a 20-something hitting rock bottom and having to pick up the pieces of the life she has ruined. The story is so witty and so funny that I laughed out loud but it is much more than that. I really fell in love with this book and the author. I wait for her books the way kids wait for Harry Potter!
Buy this book and you won't be disappointed. Better yet buy all of Marian Keyes' books.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amy Smith on July 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes. First of all, the depth of information it gave about addiction was astounding -- Ms. Keyes really seems to have done her research. I don't see how anyone could become an addict after reading this book!
What I especially found interesting was the dichotomy of Rachel's viewpoints -- she thought one way while she was still abusing drugs (and when she first started at the treatment center), and a completely different way when she began to recover. There were people she considered "stingy" or "no fun" while she was abusing drugs; she later realized they were only trying to help her. On the other side of the coin, there were people she used to think were almost godlike, and she finally realized that these people were human just like her -- and not really as great as she originally made them out to be.
Above all, though, I found this book entertaining. Marian Keyes has a wonderfully wicked sense of humor that I can truly appreciate. I'm starting to figure out that I really like books told in the first person; this book and Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married (which I read first) both drew me in with their cozy girl-talk style. I know this is a major cliche, but I really did not want to put this book down -- I felt so involved in everything that was happening to Rachel.
The only problem I found with the book is that I thought the ending was a little too convenient and a tad too predictable. Anyone who read it kind of knew how it would end about a quarter of the way through the book. That in itself was not necessarily so bad; to me, a lot of the enjoyment in a book is watching the journey from point A to point B, even if you already know what point B is.
Read more ›
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "erin_g" on August 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read this book a few months ago after much internet hunting trying to find it so I didn't have to wait for its US release.
While Keyes' previous works have also dealt with serious subjects, they were underlying, not at all the main topic in the book. This book, however, takes a hard look at addiction. While she does it with humor, she doesn't necessarily sugarcoat it. I especially appreciated that it was the main character's point of view the story was coming from. This book is written in first person, which I like, but at first you may find it rather disconcerting. The story coming directly from Rachel helped me to relate to what addiction is like, how hard it is to overcome. In the beginning, I actually found myself truly wondering if she was an addict. That kind of scares me. It told me why addicts have such a hard time overcoming.
I don't want to scare anyone off in making them think that this is an depressing, deep book filled with sorrow and woe. It's not. It's very funny at times. I love the way the family interacts. I think they're a lot like most families, just most families would never admit it. If you've read Watermelon then you've already been introduced to the family, if you haven't, read it. It doens't really matter which one you read first. Just enjoy them.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dianna Setterfield on February 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
What would you say to an all-expenses paid trip, complete with three well-balanced meals a day, daily schedule of events, nightly activities, and limitless opportunities to meet people that share common interests? Well, have I got the vacation for you! Join 27-year-old Rachel Walsh on her journey from selfish, immature, irresponsible drug-addict to rehabilitated, humble and fully-functional adult. Watch the transformation and prepare to be totally swept away.
Marian Keyes has written a humdinger here. A lively and perceptive view of real-life addiction and recovery, spiced with humor and wit, and written in a breezy, chatty, conversational tone that will take reader from page 1 to 565 in two shakes. All Keyes fans will revel in Rachel's Holiday. A very fast-paced, mature novel, a hilarious take on a most serious subject, and one that will have you reading into the wee hours of the morning. Her best yet!
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