Originally published: 1997
Author: Marian Keyes
Published by: Michael Joseph
Genre: Chick Lit
Length: 640 pages
Reading dates: 3-9 February 2022
Meet Rachel Walsh.
She’s been living it up in New York City, spending her nights talking her way into glamorous parties before heading home in the early hours to her adoring boyfriend, Luke.
But her sensible older sister showing up and sending her off to actual rehab wasn’t quite part of her plan.
She’s only agreed to her incarceration because she’s heard that rehab is wall-to-wall jacuzzis, spa treatments and celebrities going cold turkey – plus it’s about time she had a holiday.
Saying goodbye to fun and freedom will be hard – and losing the man who might just be the love of her life will be even harder.
But will hitting rock bottom help Rachel learn to love herself, at last?
I’m a huge Marian Keyes fan so was thrilled to learn her next book Again, Rachel would be a follow up to Rachel’s Holiday which I first when it came out in 1997 and again in 2006. I was lucky enough to receive a 25th Anniversary copy from Michael Joseph and read it for a third time in advance of the sequel.
Rachel’s Holiday is the second book that features the Walsh family. There are 5 daughters: Claire, Margaret, Rachel, Helen and Anna and each book features a different daughter. Rachel is in her mid 20s and living in New York with her best friend Bridget. She has a dead end job but a sexy boyfriend Luke and likes to have fun, partying hard, which involves drinking heavily and often taking recreational drugs. When after a particularly heavy night, she ends up in hospital having her stomach pumped, her family intervene and bring her back to Ireland insisting she goes to The Cloisters, a rehab centre.
Rachel is aghast – she doesn’t have a drug problem. Everyone in New York does drugs but when Bridget and Luke agree with her family, feeling betrayed, she heads back to Ireland, thinking at least she can have a nice restful holiday at The Cloisters, being pampered and hobnobbing with the celebrities who are sure to be in residence.
Marian Keyes has an amazing talent for characters. The Walsh family are like a real family – they fight and say mean things to each other but ultimately care about each other. Rachel is a fascinating character and the book follows her realisation that maybe she has a drug problem after all as she undertakes therapy. I really liked all the characters and the therapy process was really interesting.
Written with humour, I was often laughing out loud at the things Rachel said and thought. But there is a serious and dark, brutal side and the balance is handled well. It is a long book at over 600 pages but it flew by. I loved revisiting Rachel’s Holiday and am so looking forward to reading Again, Rachel very soon!
About the author:
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 including domestic violence and alcoholism.