Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes

The second of the books following the ups and downs of life for the Walsh sisters, following on from Watermelon. Coincidentally it is also the Bitches Book Selection for this month over at The Book Bitches.

'How did it end up like this? Twenty-seven, unemployed, mistaken for a drug addict, in a treatment centre in the back arse of nowhere with an empty Valium bottle in my knickers...'

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 holiday.

But what Rachel doesn't count on are the toe-curling embarrassments heaped on her by family and group therapy, the dearth of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll - and missing Luke, her ex. What kind of a new start in life is this?

Marian Keyes writes books about subjects that aren't very funny (and shouldn't be treated lightly) but manages to inject the books with charm, humour, and meaning without making the books seem preachy or condescending...not an easy task I am sure!

Rachel Walsh is a good time party girl....who unfortunately doesn't seem to have a very good idea of self. When her family and friends decide that drastic action is required because her drug taking has gotten out of hand, Rachel seems genuinely bemused. There's no way she's an addict - no way known, especially once she gets to Cloisters and sees some of the other patients there. It is only Rachel gets to know her fellow patients and here's there stories, that she begins to see that there are still some aspects of her behaviour that she shares with them.

It is not until she is confronted by some of the people that she has been closest to that it really becomes clear to her just how much of a problem she really does have.

Sounds gloomy huh? But it really isn't. The Walsh sisters are an eclectic bunch of young ladies, and it is interesting as Rachel dwells on what role her family have played in her issues that have led to her addiction. Rachel is not always likeable...which is particularly evident when we look at the origins of her relationship with her ex Luke, and the ways that she treated him and the others around her. Her time in New York is told in a series of flashbacks as Rachel contemplates the choices that she made.

As her self awareness increases, Rachel needs to start looking forward to the future, and a life without drugs and alcohol, but that may still mean that she needs to face some of her old demons.

In closing I'd just like to say........I want a Luke!!! He was so lovely!!!

Rating 4.5/5


  1. I really liked this. I want a Luke but I want him to come with a collection of Real Men as friends. I love the Real Men.

  2. Oh yes....I didn't think about getting Luke without the Real Men....thought they came as a package!