Sunday, June 12, 2022

"Rachel's Holiday" by Marian Keyes

I've been dimly aware of Irish author Marian Keyes for some time now, and "Grown Ups" has been in my TBR pile since it came out in paperback a few years ago.  Recently, she came out with a new book, "Again, Rachel," which is a sequel to a book she published 25 years ago (in 1997), "Rachel's Holiday." 

Keyes is two years younger than me and -- as I recently learned -- childless not by choice. "Again, Rachel" is the upcoming July read for the Gateway Women NoMo book club... and I figured I might as well try to read the original first. ("Rachel's Holiday" is actually #2 in a series of seven books about the Walsh family.)  

Rachel Walsh is 27, living in New York City, and a little too fond of cocaine and valium -- which leads her to lose both her job and her hot boyfriend, Luke. Then her family hauls her back home to Ireland and The Cloisters, an expensive rehab facility frequented by celebrities. Rachel envisions a relaxing vacation, rubbing elbows with the stars, enjoying spa treatments, saunas and gourmet cuisine. 

Needless to say, she's in for some surprises. 

Keyes' books often get classified as "chick lit" -- and there are chick lit elements here (including some pretty steamy sex scenes, and a good dose of humour -- Rachel's visit to the dentist, in particular, had me laughing out loud) -- but Rachel's problems are no laughing matter. It's painful, but compelling reading as Rachel's delusions are gradually stripped away and she is forced to confront her demons, one by one. (Keyes herself is a recovering alcoholic, so she knows whereof she writes.) I gobbled this book up, covering more than half of it in one day. There were two chapters towards the end of the book that had me teary... and a feel-good epilogue that frankly, I thought was unnecessary. (Your mileage may vary...!)   

4 stars on Goodreads.  I enjoyed this a lot, and am looking forward to the further adventures of Rachel in "Rachel Again," soon.  (And now I'm curious about the other Walsh family books, too! -- the TBR list just keeps growing, lol!)  

This was Book #27 read to date in 2022 (and Book #2 finished in June), bringing me to 60% of my 2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 45 books. I am (for the moment, anyway...!) 7 books ahead of schedule. :)  You can find reviews of all my books read to date in 2022 tagged as "2022 books."  

2 comments:

  1. I've been a fan of Marian Keyes since the 1990s when she first started writing, though I haven't read all her books. Her infertility/No Kidding issues endeared her to me, I guess. I get annoyed at the "chick lit" phrase because she writes more deeply than that. (There's a lot that is hard or emotional to read.) Or perhaps, I get annoyed at the use of such a phrase to belittle a talented, funny, author. Glad you enjoyed it. Start reading the others with Watermelon.

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    1. Well, I'll be reading "Again Rachel" next, since it's our book club pick for July... and probably "Grownups" after that, since I already have it on my e-reader. :) But I'll keep "Watermelon" in mind for the one after that!

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