Rachel's Holiday

Rachel's Holiday

by Marian Keyes


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The fast lane is much too slow for Rachel Walsh. And Manhattan is the perfect place for a young Irish female to overdo everything. But Rachel's love of a good time is about to land her in the emergency room. It will also cost her a job and the boyfriend she adores.

When her loving family hustles her back home and checks her into Ireland's answer to the Betty Ford Clinic, Rachel is hopeful. Perhaps it will be lovely—spa treatments, celebrities, that kind of thing. Instead, she finds a lot of group therapy, which leads her, against her will, to some important self-knowledge. She will also find something that all women like herself fear: a man who might actually be good for her.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060090388
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/23/2007
Series: Harper Perennial
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 481,895
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Marian Keyes is the author of ten bestselling novels and two essay collections. She lives in Ireland with her husband and their two imaginary dogs.

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Rachel's Holiday

Chapter One

They said I was a drug addict. I found that hard to come to terms with—I was a middle-class, convent-educated girl whose drug use was strictly recreational. And surely drug addicts were thinner? It was true that I took drugs, but what no one seemed to understand was that my drug use wasn't any different from their having a drink or two on a Friday night after work. They might have a few vodkas and tonic and let off a bit of steam. I had a couple of lines of cocaine and did likewise. As I said to my father and my sister and my sister's husband and eventually the therapists of the Cloisters, "If cocaine was sold in liquid form, in a bottle, would you complain about me taking it? Well, would you? No, I bet you wouldn't!"

I was offended by the drug-addict allegation, because I was nothing like one. Apart from the track marks on their arms, they had dirty hair, constantly seemed cold, did a lot of shoulder-hunching, wore cheap sneakers that looked like they'd been bought in Woolworth's, and were, as I've already mentioned, thin.

I wasn't thin.

Although it wasn't for the want of trying. I spent plenty of timeon the Stairmaster at the gym. But no matter how much I stairmastered, genetics had the final say. If my father had married a dainty little woman, I might have had a very different life. Very different thighs, certainly.

Instead, like my two older sisters, Claire and Margaret, I was doomed for people always to describe me by saying, "She's a big girl." Then they always added really quickly "Now, I'm not saying she's fat."

The implication being that if I was fat, I could at least dosomething about it.

"No," they would continue, "she's a fine, big, tall girl. You know, strong."

I was often described as strong.

It really pissed me off.

My boyfriend, Luke, sometimes described me as magnificent. (When the light was behind me and he'd had several beers.) At least that was what he said to me. Then he probably went back to his friends and said, "Now, I'm not saying she's fat . . . "

The whole drug-addict allegation came about one February morning when I was living in New York.

It wasn't the first time I felt as if I was on Cosmic Candid Camera. My life was prone to veering out of control and I had long stopped believing that the God who had been assigned to me was a benign old guy with long hair and a beard. He was more like a celestial stand-up comic, and my life was the showcase he used to amuse the other Gods.

"Wa-atch," he laughingly invites, "as Rachel thinks she's got a new job and that it's safe to hand in her notice on the old. Little does she know that her new firm is just about to go bankrupt!"

Roars of laughter from all the other gods.

"Now, wa-atch," he chuckles, "as Rachel hurries to meet her new boyfriend. See how she catches the heel of her shoe in a grating? See how it comes clean off? Little did Rachel know that we had tampered with it. See how she limps the rest of the way?" More sniggers from the assembled gods.

"But the best bit of all," he laughs, "is that the man she was meeting never turns up! He only asked her out for a bet. Watch as Rachel squirms with embarrassment in the stylish bar. See the looks of pity the other women give her? See how the waiter gives her the extortionate bill for a glass of wine, and best of all, see how Rachel discovers she's left her purse at home?"

Uncontrollable guffaws.

The events that led to me being called a drug addict had the same element of celestial farce that the rest of my life had. What happened was, one night I'd sort of overdone it on the enlivening drugs and I couldn't get to sleep. (I hadn't meant to overdo it, I had simply underestimated the quality of the cocaine that I had taken.) I knew I had to get up for work the following morning, so I took a couple of sleeping pills. After about ten minutes, they hadn't worked, so I took a couple more. And still my head was buzzing, so in desperation, thinking of how badly I needed my sleep, thinking of how alert I had to be at work, I took a few more.

I eventually got to sleep. A lovely deep sleep. So lovely and deep that when the morning came, and my alarm clock went off, I neglected to wake up.

Brigit, my roommate, knocked on my door, then came into my room and shouted at me, then shook me, then, at her wit's end, slapped me. (I didn't really buy the "wit's end" bit. She must have known that slapping wouldn't wake me, but no one is in good form on a Monday morning.)

But then Brigit stumbled across a piece of paper that I'd been attempting to write on just before I fell asleep. It was just the usual maudlin, mawkish, self-indulgent poetry-type stuff I often wrote when I was under the influence. Stuff that seemed really profound at the time, where I thought I'd discovered the secret of the universe, but that caused me to blush with shame when I read it in the cold light of day—the parts that I could read, that is.

The poem went something like "Mumble, mumble, life . . . " something indecipherable, "bowl of cherries, mumble, all I get is the pits . . . " Then—and I vaguely remembered writing this part—I thought of a really good title for . . .

Rachel's Holiday. Copyright © by Marian Keyes. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Rachel's Holiday 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 104 reviews.
denise_twilight More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book at B&N one day and I decided to give it a try. I haven't read anything by Marian Keyes so I didn't know what to expect. I like how the author mixed what was happening to rachel in real life in rehab with flashes of how she used to be and to certain episodes in her younger life that in some way pushed her into her addiction habit. I'll probably read another book by marian keyes. It's a funny story dealing with the seriousness of having a drug problem. I recommend it to everyone who still wants a book that makes you smile once you turn the last page.
jodiannw More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
So what if your family thinks you have a small problem with drugs and booze? You know it's not true. Of course if they are willing to send you away to a plush rehab center, where you will rub elbows with movie stars and spend time in the sauna, go for it. Sometimes, things don't turn out the way you think they will.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that I keep and reread about once a year. Making drug addiction funny could not have been an easy task, but Keyes manages it. I think anyone who has a hard time reading the book because of Rachel's self-pitying and denial must never have been around anyone with an addiction. That's how they act! Keyes was able to put a very personal and real touch on this book because she herself went through addiction and recovery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rachel is living in New York, working a job that really doesn't demand much from her which is good because she's not giving much back, she's addicted to drugs, specifically cocaine and is breaking the hearts of her friends.It's heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time and while it makes you glad you're not like her, you also think about ways in which you are alike.Yes it's a fair number of pages long but it's also quite a quick read as it drags you in and doesn't let you go to the end. All the time you're rooting for Rachel to have a better life.
jules72653 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm loving Marian Keyes! This was so funny in places! Rachel expects rehab to be a plush spa experience. Ha!
lahochstetler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Marian Keyes is a very funny writer, and like so many of her books, this one manages to deal with a serious subject and still be tremendously entertaining. The serious subject here is drug and alcohol addiction. In New York Irish ex-pat Rachel Walsh's life devolves as she develops cocaine and alcohol addictions. After losing her job, her boyfriend, and her best friend, Rachel finds herself back in Ireland in treatment. Refusing to believe that she is an addict, Rachel agrees to treatment only because she thinks she might see celebrities. What follows are Rachel's comic misadventures as an addict in denial while in treatment, interspersed with the story of how she became an addict. Keyes has an amazing ability to bring humor to horrible situations, and this is a book to read when you need a pick-me-up. The ending is a bit unbelievable, but the book is by and large light and fun reading.
inkcharmed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Probably my favorite Marian Keyes.
angelitamay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It read like a memoir and I didn't want it to end.
Ms.RaqueL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really like the way Marien describe characters, situations and conflicts. The book is funny and sad at the same time. I couldn't put it down and we never know how it is going to end. When I finished reading this book, I felt starting reading it again at the same minute.
MsNikki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting twist on the typical chick lit. Rachel is an addict, and is forced to return home to Ireland (I believe) to detox. Not a bad read
Bonni208 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really struggled with how to rate this book, as well as how to tag it. The cover contains a review from the Boston Globe that reads, "Hilarious... a coming-of-age journey of love and self-discovery... propelled by its unforgettable heroine." On the back, Newsday calls it the perfect "beach read."This is a story about addiction and the desperation and associated self-absorption. Keyes is a great story teller and I was engaged throughout the entire book. Though it is touted as a light comedic beach read, I found it to be much heavier than described. More than 75% of the book takes place in an addiction recovery facility. The tough-love psychological approach used there helps the addicts face their weaknesses head on and admit their helplessness. I didn't find myself laughing during the book, nor did I think her relationships would fit into the category of romance for me. That being said, this difficult to categorize and poorly marketed book did tell a good story and seemed to deal realistically with the subject of addiction.
LaBibliophille on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun, with some serious overtones. It's part of a series of books by Marian Keyes about th Walsh sister.
ngenatie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rachel's Holiday turned into my own holiday from the easy reads I like to take on vacation with me. I was pulled in and had my eyes opened up to Rachel's world of rehab and recovery. Marian Keyes did a great job of helping me understand the addicts point of view.
bettyjo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Young woman goes to a rehab in her native Ireland. She leaves her life in New York behind to embark on her sometimes funny journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keyes takes us through a great journey about addiction. Rachel's family will be recognized by most and helps to understand how growing up in the same family can result in creating so many different people. Rehab is not easy and is really for the whole family since we all exist for better or worse through them. A great story with lots of forgiveness to help be the best person we can be.
Melanie Chen More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books ever! I love Marian Keyes!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently discovered Marion Keyes when I picked up her newest book (The Brightest Star in the Sky) in a bookstore in Dublin. I loved her voice and her writing style, so I wanted to read more of her books. I chose Rachel's Holiday because of its great reviews. At first, it seemed like it was going to be a ilght, funny story about a quirky girl who was being sent to a rehab center even though she wasn't a drug addict. As the story progressed, it became apparent that she actually WAS a drug addict, and the story was about her rehab experience. I was disappointed because I wasn't looking for something so serious, but I kept reading. Marion Keyes is such a gifted writer that she was able to make a serious story funny and genuine at the same time. Her characters are so real that you feel like you actually know them. This book made me laugh out loud and cry at parts. It's one of those books that you keep thinking about long after you finished reading it.
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