I m buying Rachel s Holiday was wonderful and touching It is a talent to take subjects that are so seriouse and bring laughter and humor to them What a quirky, fun sense of humor Marian must have This book delved into the world of addicts It was honest, insightful, and very human I felt a great attatchment to Rachel the heroin I would laugh with her, and then find myself crying over her heartache I think I understood her She had a lot of similar feelings and thoughts that I sometimes have It s hard to live in this world, when you want to please everybody I couldn t put this book down, and yet I knew that I didn t want to come to the last page Really great.
Meet Rachel Walsh She Has A Pair Of Size 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 HolidayBut 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 From my book blog I really hate the term chick lit, don t you It is utterly dismissive and totally misleading Take a look at this book cover It looks like chick lit It was written by a woman IT MUST BE FLUFFY AND RIDICULOUS, RIGHT No No it is not This book is devastating I know she wasn t the first one, but I blame Sophie Kinsella and her godawful Shopaholic books with their stupid pink covers for starting the whole chick lit thing Have I mentioned that I really fucking hate those books I hate them so much that my hatred of them is totally derailing this review I ll get back to them eventually.
Rachel s Holiday came very highly recommended by my friends Jana and Ali, both of whom mentioned that this was one of the few books that has been with them many years, through various moves, bookshelf cleanouts, etc Both of their copies were falling apart They said it was amazing And it WAS.
As you may have guessed, the leading lady is Rachel, an Irish 20 something living the party life in New York In the first few pages, she overdoses on pills and has to get her stomach pumped Through a huge misunderstanding, she is deemed a drug addict and sent back to Ireland for rehab.
That s all I want to say about the plot, because one of the great pleasures of this book is the way it unfolds It s written in first person from Rachel s POV, and seeing her life fall apart through her eyes is insane It s soul crushing You think everything is going just fine, and then Marian Keyes slips in these little bombs Remember when you took 10th grade English and you studied Poe and your teacher talked to you about unreliable narrators And you never thought you would ever talk about that sort of thing again unless you were a huge nerd like me Well, saddle up and get ready to check your facts, because we are talking about unreliable narrators RIGHT FUCKING NOW It makes the whole book ten times interesting than a regular story of transformation and growth and all that shit.
I would not expect that soul crushing and maddeningly addictive would describe the same book, but here we are I furiously texted Jana while I was on a fucking treadmill at the gym, where I was running and also reading Rachel s Holiday on Kindle I was texing Ali OH MY GOD DID THAT JUST HAPPEN while I was trying to read and cook dinner at the same time Warning Do not try this at home unless you want a shitty dinner.
So, yeah, I loved this book I give it an A I worship Marian Keyes for proving that chick lit or, alternately, a book written by a woman for a largely female audience doesn t have to suck.
This was not the light chick lit read that I was expecting, and as I started reading it, and getting and IRRITATED by this character s addiction and denial and self destructive behaviour.
I thought that I HATED this book.
However, I actually quite loved it First of all, I have no sympathy for addicts and I am not even shameful about that I was raised surrounded by addicts I find the behaviour selfish and irresponsible and just altogether frustrating I spent my childhood by myself, raising myself and my brother, and dealing with violence, neglect, a lack of fundamental necessities.
all things that have led me to be an adult that is decidedly NOT SYMPATHETIC to addiction.
As an adult, I now find that I am expected to take care of those people that were supposed to have taken care of me as a child I m supposed to be sympathetic to liver failure, emphysemia, financial ruin, and constant RELAPSES and it s just too much.
I say all of this to put into context my reasons for really hating Rachel Her predicament was just too familiar for my tastes.
But I found myself inexorably drawn into her story I couldn t put the book down I was seriously absorbed I HAD to find out how she was going to resolve her life I HAD to know if she was going to come out of denial, if she was going to realize what a stupid beeyatch she was.
I really needed there to be resolution for this story.
What s interesting is that this writer didn t make the process light and fluffy Rachel had a painful and slow road to recovery Her process of denial was EXCRUCIATING for me, but I came to understand her I came to see why she had been such an idiotic idiot head This book is what the genre of chick lit is supposed to be about painful productive growth I loved it.
This book was not at all what I was expecting I thought it would be light, fluffy and trivial and what I got in reality was a horrible glimpse into the mirror of addiction and saw myself staring back.
Rachel s Holiday follows 27 year old Rachel who lives in New York and parties like there s no tomorrow until there almost isn t one She s shipped off back to Ireland by her loopy family, where she finds herself in a drug treatment centre I found this to be an unexpectedly good read on many levels For one, the subject matter was much darker than I thought it would be Two, the way Keyes allows the reader to glimpse and of Rachel, slowly twisting the way you see her from Rachel s own perspective to that of an outsider looking in on a drug addicts descent and subsequent rise from addiction.
The novel touched a lot of nerves for me, and some of the descriptions of what it is like to be an addict made me cry with recognition A painful read, but one I am so glad I finished.
Marian Keys is the novelist that I turn to for my fluff novels Her books are fun, mindless, silly and sometimes shallow and I guiltily eat them all up This one was different It had the same qualities the other ones did, but this one, whether intentional or not, set itself apart from her other books.
It has been years since I have actually read this book but it left an impression on me Maybe it s because I went into it with such low expectations as far as depth or content, I can t be certain What I can be sure of though is that the emotional reaction I had to this character was surprisingly genuine and compassionate I m not saying its Pulitzer material, but it s worth taking a second look at whether or not you have a disposition for chicklets.
I think Marian Keyes is probably the most underrated author in the chick lit section.
My first book by her was Lucy Sullivan is getting married and it took me 2 attempts to finish it From there, enjoying Rachel s Holiday was easy It s by far my favourite Marian Keyes book If you ve never read anything by her, I suggest starting with this one If you don t like it, I would think chances are slim you will change your mind reading the rest of them.
Rachel s Holiday is Marian Keyes at her best No other writer manages to combine the sad and the hilarious as well as she does, making you laugh and cry within the same paragraph.
I m not usually someone to try and guess how a story will end and find it much enjoyable to just follow wherever the author leads me, but if you re not like me and you re looking for surprising twists and turns, then maybe this is not for you.
I read these books in my late teens, early twenties, and I can honestly say I learned a great deal about life and relationships especially what not to do.
If you enjoy light hearted entertainment, a special sense of humour but want than a shop o holic piling up credit card debt or an office girl obsessing about her weight, Marian Keyes is your woman I waffled between five and four stars for all of ten seconds before deciding on five, simply because of my sheer inability to be rational about this novel I fell in love with Rachel, and I have no idea why If I hadn t picked this up at a library sale when my impulse control was at it s lowest, I wouldn t have it at all There s literally nothing about this book, from the cover, to the genre, to the jacket copy to make me think I d enjoy it, or that it was my kind of book Because it really isn t.
In fact, my first thought on opening the book on a whim a year after putting it on my shelf not an uncommon phenomenon was oh, nice typeface Rachel s story was convincing and compelling, if only because the reader is so well grounded in her mental state she s all over the place emotionally and never seems to notice, but you still get a sense of who she really is under all the drugs And even knowing that she s in trouble than she thinks she is, Rachel s done a thorough job of hiding from herself, so as bad as it is, you re almost as shocked as she is when confronted.
Even that wouldn t be enough to give in five stars in my mental rating system, but when Rachel is forced to remember her early childhood, I abruptly found myself in tears I haven t connected so strongly to a character in I don t know how long And I don t know why it s Rachel, either If I were anyone in this novel, I d be Margaret, the brownose But for Rachel, I spent much of the second half of the novel in tears for her, and was so proud of her recovery Bizarre, but this unexpected total empathy is exactly why I read, and I haven t experienced it for a while.
Also, in general, I really like the way the author can take what appears to be fun chick lit, and then all of a sudden it s like whoa, serious life stuff happening here kinda like real life