This is a powerful and touching novel about addiction, denial and recovery but peppered throughout with Keyes’ wonderful humour and frank honesty.
Prepare to buckle in for this one as the story unfolds with more than a few twists and turns along the way. The story cunningly suckers you thinking it’s a fluffy tale of sweetness and light, before catapulting the reader into a darker place – where demons must be faced, and addictions conquered.
As always, Keyes manages to beautifully balance tragedy and comedy. This book made me chortle while simultaneously wiping tears from my eyes – no mean feat.et and such a fondness had a holiday
Rachel doesn’t have a problem with drugs. Honestly. Sure, she dabbles in the occasional line of coke but she’s a party girl, living it up in New York City. It’s what everyone does.
Her family and friends stage an intervention and cart her off to a rehab clinic in Dublin. Rachel knows she doesn’t need the treatment but what harm can a couple of weeks in a glorified spa do? She’s only there for the Jacuzzis, yoga and celebrity-spotting opportunities.
As the story progresses, Rachel’s has a rude awakening faced with the reality of her addiction, alongside ghosts past and present, an eclectic mix of fellow patients and some horrendous group therapy sessions.
I adore Rachel – she is completely likable and I’m sure there will be many readers of this book (including myself) who were able to easily identify with her character.
The development of the story is very clever as it’s a piecemeal process for the reader to realise the strength of addiction Rachel is actually battling.
The story is ticking along nicely and we believe it’s a terrible mistake for Rachel to be in rehab and she just having ‘a little holiday’. Our heroine roams around wondering where the Jacuzzi is and when the ‘ridey’ celebrities will present themselves.
And then – bam! – the startling realisation hits both our heroine and the reader that Rachel has been in total denial about her alcohol and drug use. The fact that, Rachel essentially tricks the reader (and herself) makes this story an absolutely fascinating account of one woman’s journey through denial, addiction and finally recovery.
I think this story is even more poignant knowing the author’s own battle with alcoholism – offering an edge and reality to Rachel’s’ struggle.
Anyone who has ever ‘overdone it’ (or worse) will definitely relate to some of the ways in which Rachel is in denial to herself in the early stages of this story. When the full force of her addiction suddenly hits, both she – and the reader – and able to finally see clearly. The story becomes both sad and touching as Rachel struggles to come to grips with the strength of her addiction and make amends for her past ways.
If that all sounds very serious and depressing – well, it is and it isn’t. Keyes keeps the jokes and brilliant characters coming throughout the whole story, offering light relief. Rachel’s character is incredibly funny and her boyfriend Luke a ‘ridey’ god.
Humour and life lessons work perfectly together in this fantastic book. A funny, surprising and thought-provoking read tackling a serious subject matter. I’d love to read a sequel about Rachel – my favourite of all the Walsh sisters.
“My life was a wreck. I had nothing, no material possessions, unless debts counts. Fourteen pairs of shoes that were too small for me was all I had to show after a lifetime of profligate spending. I hadn’t a job. I hadn’t any qualifications. I’d achieved nothing with my life. I’d never been happy. I had no husband or boyfriend.”
― Marian Keyes, Rachel’s Holiday
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