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March 9, 2013 / ljbradburn-Smith

Rachel’s Holiday

Rachel's holiday

I watched an interview with Marian Keyes the other day and was unsurprised to find that she was as lovely and quirky as her novels. Her writing has a humour and energy about it that often has me laughing out loud, and her fictional characters’ traits are often all too familiar, especially if you have a crazy Irish family!

Rachel’s Holiday is Keyes’s second novel about the Walsh sisters. Although I love them all it is by far my favourite.You know you are on to a winner when a phrase a character says in a book becomes a staple part of your vocabulary. “Not bad for a pair of heifers” has been a favourite phrase of my best friend and I for years now.

In this novel, Keyes takes the serious issue of drug addiction and presents the reader with a unreliable narrator who seems genuinely surprised that anyone would even suggest that her “little” bit of fun is causing anguish to the people in her life. Despite everything that you find out about what Rachel has done you can’t help but love her and continue to root for her throughout. In group therapy, which Rachel attends in rehab (where she does absolutely not need to be, at all, ever) we hear from her loved ones the trouble that her behaviour has caused. The first person point of view means that Rachel’s problems are revealed slowly and the reader experiences her denial, surprise and acceptance first hand. Rachel has many problems but also many redeeming features that keep the reader hooked (pun intended). Marian has battled her own addiction demons and I think this may just be why she created such a believable character, with what appears to be a very accurate insight in to the mind of an addict.

Marian Keyes’ warmth, humor and originality shine through in Rachel’s Holiday.

Please read this book – for you not me (i’ve already read it)

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2 Comments

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  1. Grainne O'Riordan / Mar 9 2013 5:05 pm

    I agree with what you say about the book and I wholeheartedly recommend all the other books about the sisters. If you haven’t read them you have lots of treats in store. Have you got a list of all of them?

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