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Rachel's Holiday

(Walsh Family #2)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  65,056 ratings  ·  1,748 reviews
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 h ...more
Paperback, 578 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1997)
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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. …moreYes. 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. (less)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  65,056 ratings  ·  1,748 reviews

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Start your review of Rachel's Holiday (Walsh Family, #2)
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
Rachel C.
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Nilufer Ozmekik
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think this is my favorite Walsh sister novel. It’s dark, depressive, sad but thanks to Ms. Keyes’ extraordinary sense of humor and witty but also realistic approach to the addiction, eating disorder, self-destruction and emotional insecurities hooks us from the beginning.
Rachel’s rehab journey and facing the truths about her life, family, sisterhood, her shame, faults, self-harming is remarkable story steals a special place of your heart.

And Ms. Keyes is still my favorite emotional rom-com au
Apr 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chicklit, 2008, april2008
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
Saadia B. ||  CritiConscience
Was recommended by a friend. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Philippa 'Nef'
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
Wicked Incognito Now
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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,
May 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
C.L. Taylor
Rachel's Holiday is about Rachel, a 27-year-old party girl who’s in denial about her drug habit. She’s forced into rehab, largely against her will, and undergoes the most incredible transformation. There are dark moments in the book as she comes to terms with her behaviour but what lifts it into a joyful read is Marian Keyes’ clever way with words and her extraordinary wit. I listened to Rachel’s Holiday during lockdown dog walks and lost count of the number of times people stared at me as I lau ...more
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Having recently reread many of Rainbow Rowell’s books, I picked up Rachel’s Holiday, based on Rowell’s recommendation. As a student currently studying Abnormal Psychology, the topic of addiction being covered piqued my interest, as well.

The negative depiction of counsellors and psychotherapist in this book worries me, however. I would recommend reading any of Irvin Yalom’s books to get an accurate (and easy to read) depiction of what therapy and seeking help really entails. This book’s only sav
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 29, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
Eoin McGrath
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Was not expecting this thicc book to be so moving and powerful. Stunning job, Marian.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I definitely liked "Rachel's Holiday" a lot more than "Watermelon." Maybe because this one more expressly shows the flaws in the Walsh family matriarch and father. Also, I still disliked Helen in this one too. Anna seems mostly harmless and cares. We also get to see/hear more about Maggie(one of the 5 sisters). I felt sorry for Rachel who is in the midst of addiction and doesn't even want to admit what has been going on with her. And unlike with Claire in the last book, Rachel even though she go ...more

4.5 ★

Marian Keyes was the first author I fell in love with and I consequently fell in love with reading as a result, so she will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. I’ve been a bit slumpy of late and the only books that have made me happy are by Mhairi McFarlane. I’ve had this niggle in the back of my mind, telling me: that I think Keyes and McFarlane have some things in common, but it's been too long since I’ve read her older stuff. Turns
Rob Keenan
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was excellent. Full on got me through my first three weeks of quarantine. Also a lot more impactful than I expected. I wish I had read it earlier.
Quintin Van der Merwe
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Anna Dawson
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
For such a chunky boi, Keyes’ writing makes this extremely accessible and consistently entertaining. The jokes don’t let up, but this is a heavy hitter; worthy themes are handled with candour and compassion and the shifting timelines charting Rachel’s recovery and preceding downward spiral work very well in tandem.
Ria Lize
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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. ...more
'Call off the search for a "why", Rachel,’ she finished on. ‘You don’t need it.'
Oh my... What a novel! So deep, sad, full of hurt. Often uncomfortable - but guess what? - life is often uncomfortable.
Some of us are lucky to avoid Rachel's path. But we can read this book, understand it and be ready to be helpful for someone if the need comes.

The inside of addiction that Marian Keyes showed here was so brilliant and rough, that at some point I checked her biography, and yes, she is an alcohol
May 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
S.W. Hubbard
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I waffled between 3 and 4 stars for this novel about a young woman straightening herself out at a substance abuse clinic in Ireland. Marian Keyes is a witty writer, but there are stretches here where I really got tired of Rachel's whining and self-pity and insecurity. Especially the insecurity. Maybe I just don't remember being that young. ...more
May 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Review to follow
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Dec 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ by: Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
Shelves: chick-lit
3.5 stars

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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

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, #5.1)

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