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Rachel's Holiday (Walsh Family #2)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  54,606 Ratings  ·  1,343 Reviews
Here's Rachel Walsh, twenty-seven and the miserable owner of size 8 feet. She has regular congress with Luke Costello, a man who wears his leather trousers tight. And she's fond - some might say too fond - of recreational drugs. Until she finds herself being frogmarched to the Cloisters - Dublin's answer to the Betty Ford Clinic. She's outraged. Surely she's not thin enoug ...more
Paperback, 626 pages
Published 1997 by Penguin UK
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Popular Answered Questions
Kasey Vaughn Yes. Each book in this series not dependent on the other. They are specifically about the main sister and whatever she's going through in the book.
leigha He’s called Garv in Angels because his name is Paul Garvan, they always call him Garv for a nickname :-)

Community Reviews

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Rachel C.
I picked this up thinking, "Great - a fun book about a girl named Rachel who goes on vacation." Except not so much. Turns out, her "holiday" (view spoiler); Marian Keyes is terrifically funny and she makes Rachel a sympathetic character and narrator.

The first person point of view is expertly employed to hide certain things from the reader, revealing th
...more
Marie
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
...more
Laura
Apr 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: april2008, chicklit
This book was as awesome as I expected, based on Krystal's high praise of it. Watermelon was pretty good, but this was way better. I'm not sure if it's better than Lucy Sullivan though. I haven't read the author's essays apecifically about her alcholism, but I can only assume that she drew on some of her own experience with addiction to write this. It's fascinating to experience the transformation of Rachel with Rachel. To learn things as she learns them, to see her experiences through her eyes. ...more
Jayci
Mar 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whatever Mairan Keyes is selling....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 fee ...more
Jayne
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
(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 b
...more
Philippa 'Nef'
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 l
...more
Miko
May 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Wicked Incognito Now
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wicked Incognito Now by: Vered
This was not the light chick lit read that I was expecting, and as I started reading it, and getting more and more 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,
...more
Nina
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Bex
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Rachel's Holiday was one of the best books I've read in a very long while. It was one of those books that leads you to a place in a very humorous way, and then offers you the chance to review your own life in a way you might not have before. Rachel has just accidently overdosed, ended up in the hospital, and been railroaded by her family, roommate, and boyfriend into treatment. She can't believe that they think she has a problem, because, of course, she doesn't. Watching her come to grips with w ...more
Quintin Merwe
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has been my favorite of all the Marian Keyes books I have read thus far! It is truly amazing to see how all her characters go through the toughest times or sometimes find themselves in the funniest situations. The best being when both emotions happen in the same scene!
The story line is once again done brilliantly, from start to finish. Her books have become synonymous 'glued to the hands with butt on the seat' gut wrenching, tear jerking (because of the funny bits) and riveting brilliance.
...more
Rowena
Nov 29, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While MK writes in her usual hilarious manner, this novel touched on the very serious topic of drug/alcohol addiction. It was interesting and most definitely entertaining but I felt that she pigeonholed Rachel's character to an irritating degree. The psychological analysis of Rachel's childhood was far too pat and I didn't believe that she could so readily accept her tenure as an addict. I enjoyed this book mainly for MK's typical sharp wit and rollicking anecdotes but overall I believe that thi ...more
Irs
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ya había tenido la oportunidad de leer a Marian Keyes con Claire se queda sola y, aunque fue ya hace un par de años, nunca es tarde para reencontrarse con un autor. En ese primer libro, Marian Keyes hablaba del abandono y la soledad, y en este se centra en las adicciones, especialmente en las drogas. Aunque a veces peca de ser un poco redundante, y de ahí que no le haya subido más la puntuación, es un libro más que decente. Rachel Walsh tiene veintisiete años, vive en Nueva York y su vida es un ...more
Elke
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Toch weer een fijn boek om te lezen, maakt me erg nieuwsgierig naar de andere delen.
Hoewel ik dit deel hier en daar toch wat aan de lange/trage kant vind, is het toch zeker wel 4sterren waard!
Nu tijd voor de read-a-thon!
Jenna
May 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended as a future book in my book club. We were looking for a light read. All the reviews showed this was about Rachel in rehab and did not sound light hearted at all. There were also no English copies in the Zürich library. You never thought that might be a problem to find a book and not want to buy it or share one copy between 10 women, did ya ?

So, we decided on a different book. The next week I spotted this at my favorite English book store and did not put it down for the
...more
Faith
Jan 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2002-2004, 2011
First I thought Rachel's Holiday was a shallow book, because Rachel was so shallow in the beginning of the book. Just like an other Bridget Jones, just that she takes drugs on top of everything else. That is, she was a woman who cared about nothing but men and her looks.

Well, but Marian Keyes certainly managed to get some depth in her book. The book developed as Rachel developed. In the beginning I thought just like Rachel that the putting of her in a rehab center was some kinda mistake. I thou
...more
tara stewart
This was my favourite book for so long. Marian you make me laugh and cry. Rachel's Holiday was the best of the series!
Ria Lize
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: made-me-cry
I just wanted to read romance.

Romance. You know, in that care-free chick-lit way, since I've had dissatisfaction towards the ending of other books recently.

Okay. You probably don't trust me. I've been throwing 4 and 5 stars around like it's Christmas. But I feel it's like Christmas, because I've suddenly been opened to a whole new genre that's not UF or PNR, and suddenly, everything is new and fresh and wonderful.

So did I get romance with Rachel's Holiday? Not really- not in the way I wanted. In
...more
Sharon
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book so many times, marian writes about serious subjects and yet manages to inject humour into each serious situation and who better than the Walsh family, lots of Irish sisters each with their own traumas (see other books) and upsets supported by an amazing Irish mammy who cant cook and has her own amazing wit! And a daddy who just wants a bit of peace but has no chance of getting it! The walsh's are the type of family we all probably have or wish we had! Rachaels story tackles ...more
Lisa
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachel is living in New York and has no idea that her drug problem is completely out of control until she accidentally overdoses and finds herself back in Ireland in a rehab centre.
Why is she here? She only does a few recreational drugs, doesn't she?
This is the story of Rachel's journey to accept her drug addiction and start on the road to recovery.
It is so interesting and written with the dark humour and excruciating honesty that Marian Keyes employs in all her novels - this book got under my s
...more
Hildy
Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
first read: February 2011
re-read: December 2016

I still love this book! Rachel is not a person who is easy to like. She's selfish, judgemental, and doesn't live in reality most of the time. In spite of all that, I find her character and her story to be entertaining and funny. Rachel's growth takes a while but it is worth it.

Now, let's talk about Luke and his time-share pants. I love this man. I have for almost 6 years. He's such a unique, loyal character. Through most of the book I wanted to pun
...more
Ruth Asdisardottir
This is an interesting book. I think it descripes addiction pretty well in a sense. But on the other hand, I find it a bit shallow at times as the author seems to display every addict as some kind of a crazy stereotype who doesnt want to accept that he/she is an addict. All kinds of people are addicts and a lot of people also enter rehab, well aware of that they have a serious problem, that their lives are in ruins and are ready to change. Not everybody is in there against their own will and doi ...more
Thomas Strömquist
One of the many things that makes Marian Keyes stand out is that she is basically a 'humor'-writer (and even a 'feel-good'-writer I guess) that is absolutely best when dealing with difficult subject matters. The second "Walsh"-family book deals with the middle sister Rachel's substance abuse problem (not that she knew that she had one) and the enforced "holiday" back home in Ireland to help her get her life in order after a hectic New York stint. Funny, captivating and wonderful.
Redfox5
Could have done with being about 200 pages shorter. Second book I've read about the Walsh sisters. The other one was better. Did feel like I'd read this before but if I had then it didn't make much of an impression on me. I was cheering Marian for not ending the book in the way you expected but it was short lived as this was before I'd read Epilogue. It does end like you expect it to. Not the worst chick lit book in the world but there are much better ones out there.
Mississippi Library Commission
We think Marian Keyes' writing is fantastic. Rachel's Holiday is by no means just a chick lit book; it offers so much more. An Irish ex-pat is whisked back home to go to rehab. Marian Keyes' research into addiction and recovery was excellent. We learned so much (as does Rachel!) Humor and life lessons abound in this engrossing read.
Lea
I would not necessarily have picked out this book for myself, as reading about addicts is hardly my idea of fun, except I'm trying to read the books that have been selected for the BBC World Book Club and this was one of them. Well, a good thing I did because it's really good.

I'm amazed at how funny and empathetic Marian Keyes' writing is. This is a book that deals with such a bleak, difficult subject, but does it with such humanity and good humour. I was riveted by Rachel's journey, though I fo
...more
Siobhan
I’ll start by saying I was not aware that this was part of a series. It was a free eBook on my iPhone so I decided to give it a go. That being said, it works perfectly fine as a standalone book so you do not need to worry about reading the other books. What I have come to understand is that the series is about a dysfunctional family and each book tells the story of a different child, with no real suggestion towards the other books (or at least, this one had no suggestion towards the other books) ...more
Jennifer
Sep 17, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, chicklit
As I mention in my review of another Keyes work, I read the Sullivan books out of order, and, as a result, may have developed a slightly different sense of the characters. This may have coloured my view of this book.

I had two main complaints about this novel. First, to a great extent, the theme has been beaten to death since going into rehab became chic. If Sandra Bullock has made a motion picture about something, it is not new. (Don't get me wrong, I love her, but "edgy" she is not.)

Second, I
...more
Rurae
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
This book is brilliant. One of my top ten books of all time.

It's kind of unfair to call this 'chick lit' really but that's how its categorised most of the time but its doing the book a disservice.

Rachels Holiday - looks like a generic chick lit, light summer romance but its not. Its actually a story of addiction and rehab. A very funny, heartwarming story of addiction and rehab.

Keyes has a brilliant knack of taking serious situations and subjects and turning them into warm, witty reads that d
...more
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5,478 followers
Marian Keyes (born 10 September 1963) is an Irish novelist and non-fiction writer, best known for her work in women's literature. She is an Irish Book Awards winner. Over 22 million copies of her novels have been sold worldwide and her books have been translated into 32 languages. She became known worldwide for Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, and This Charming Man, with themes includ ...more
More about Marian Keyes

Other books in the series

Walsh Family (6 books)
  • Watermelon (Walsh Family, #1)
  •  Angels (Walsh Family, #3)
  • Anybody Out There? (Walsh Family, #4)
  • The Mystery of Mercy Close (Walsh Family, #5)
  • Mammy Walsh's A-Z of the Walsh Family (Walsh Family, #6)

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“You've recognised a fundamental feature of an addict's life. Maintaining your habit is so important you've no real interest in anything else.” 43 likes
“They say the path of true love never runs smooth. Well, Luke and my true love's path didn't run at all, it limped along in new boots that were chafing its heels. Blistered and cut, red and raw, every hopping, lopsided step, a little slice of agony.” 17 likes
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