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Rachel's Holiday Paperback – April 1, 2002
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Sweet Sorrow" by David Nicholls
"With fully fleshed-out characters, terrific dialogue, bountiful humor, and genuinely affecting scenes, this is really the full package of a rewarding, romantic read."—Booklist Learn more
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About the Author
Marian Keyes is the author of ten bestselling novels and two essay collections. She lives in Ireland with her husband and their two imaginary dogs.
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Rachel is the life-of-the-party sister. Rachel is succumbing to the lure of alcohol, cocaine and prescription medication while living in New York with her best friend. After she turns up with a freshly-pumped stomach in an emergency room, her family whisks her back to Ireland for rehab.
The story starts out when she is placed in The Cloisters, an addiction treatment center, and her life has seemingly fallen apart. She has lost her job, her boyfriend, and she is so charming, it is hard to understand why. Although Rachel resists her diagnosis of addict, she agrees to sign in to the rehab of choice for Irish rock stars, figuring it will be glam and spa-like experience but finds out the hard way that treatment is no holiday.
As the story unfolds, we learn to see Rachel's part in her life's undoing, and hope that she can pull it back together after she gains some insight, and makes some changes, that are very inspiring.
It is an Amazing book. How Marian Keys manages to deal with such serious issues, yet be completely hilarious is beyond me. This is my third time reading the book and I get something new and different from it each time.
I am a verified purchaser in AUSTRALIA
Like many others have said, I DO NOT think that this book is chick lit!! Just because an author predominately writes chick lot, doesn't mean that every single book by her (or him) IS chick lit. That generalization really bugs me. Grrr.
Okay, now that that's off of my chest, I can get to my review. :) I am a former addict and I could relate to this book in some ways...in the important and poignant ways, I believe. Like so many other addicts, Rachel hasn't truly hit rock bottom yet and decides to go to the rehabilitation center because of the false images and expectations she has of it. She doesn't realize there's actual work, actual sobriety, actual transparency, and actual PAIN involved. And, when she arrives, she doesn't realize it isn't a hunting ground for a quick lay. AND she doesn't realize that so many others are spewing the same amount of bs that she is.
At first she feels a sense of pity for the poor people in denial; she even feels outrage on their behalf because of how she perceives them to be "wrongly" treated by the staff. She experiences a huge array of emotions throughout the book: lust, jealousy, anger, injustice, fear, shame, and more. I kind of perceived it (due to my own experience with addiction and sobriety) as running through the gauntlet of grief. Losing your number one vice and learning how to FEEL and actually experience life is not an easy thing when you're used to coloring it with a drug of choice - ANY drug of choice. You have to grieve the loss of that drug AND you have to grieve the loss of anyone and anything you hurt beyond repair that you'll never get back again. As the blinders were being removed from Rachel's eyes, she not only saw clearly what a sober life is like, but she also heard about the people she hurt and the situations that SHE caused that had caused that hurt.
There is so, so much more that I could say about this book, but I'll let the reader experience it for him or herself. I thought the book was excellent and I also found it to become heartbreaking as more and more of Rachel's story unfolded. As I said above, I definitely DO NOT see this as chick lit. If you're looking for girly fluff or a girly time on the beach, this is NOT the book for you. Still, I found it to be a brilliant read.
Top international reviews
At first I treated this book as take it or leave it. But as the story led up to Rachel needing a 'Holiday' from the rough path she was rolling along, created by drugs, I began to see links of a friend in my life who is now a recovering alcoholic. This book explains SO much. I read of the good highs, and bad, sad lows, desperation to escape real life and hide behind their addiction, be it drugs, booze, gambling et al. Addiction is very serious, extremely difficult to stop but is possible with the correct support.
I went to friend & family meetings of the addicted and learned that addiction is illness, the person it affects does not wish to be alive because of it. Like a beast looming over every thought and decision of the addict to destroy the addicts. life.
The greatest pity in real life, is the lack of support & charities losing much needed funds. Many re-hab residential places are being closed down. For every success story, there is 95 not so good. Many addicts relapse and die.
This book is superb at explaining the addicts behaviour, denial and excuses. It gives the poor addicts point of view from their befuddled state.
However, this book is a hard hitting but comical aspects when least expected.
It's a terrific story for all, whether to make readers think if they maybe need to cut down or seek professional help. Or for our teenagers to glimpse into gaining self respect and responsibility before any addiction begins to feel nice before the nightmare begins.
A truly wonderful book with clear facts from research.
Her family are fantastic, they clearly love and care for her but don't hold back and still talk to her like they do to each other. Her sisters laugh at her for being a druggie but you know they are worried.
The heart breaking part is when she talks about Luke and her best friend. She's annoyed that they betray her by telling the therapist about her behavior. To Rachel, she just enjoyed a party but the truth is she did any party to take a substance even if it meant hurting her friends.
I liked the fact that the subject of addiction was handled really well and shows that you don't just step out of rehab 'fixed'. The fact that it took Rachel over two years to be able to like herself was nice and the ending is exactly what you want as a reader!
It's a delicate line to walk but this book really pulls it off. Highly recommended - not least because some of the therapy bits made me rethink a lot of my behaviour from 20 years ago in an entirely new light.
Is Rachel an unreliable narrator - deliciously so, but she is telling the truth as she sees it and we share her hilarious journey to discover the truth about her life.