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Rachel's holiday / Marian Keyes.

By: Keyes, Marian.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Keyes, Marian. Walsh family: 2.Publisher: London : Penguin Books, 2012Copyright date: copyright1997Description: v, 625, [11] pages ; 20 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780241958438 (paperback).Other title: Rachels holiday.Subject(s): Vacations -- Fiction | Single women -- Fiction | Drug addicts -- Rehabilitation -- Fiction | Chick lit | Dublin (Ireland) -- Fiction | New York (N.Y.) -- FictionGenre/Form: Humorous fiction. | Romance fiction.DDC classification: 823.914 Summary: 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 holiday. But what Rachel doesn't count on are the toe-curling embarrassments heaped on her by family and group therapy, the dearth of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll--and missing Luke, her ex. What kind of a new start in life is this?
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

'How did it end up like this? Twenty-seven, unemployed, mistaken for a drug addict, in a treatment centre in the back arse of nowhere with an empty Valium bottle in my knickers . . .'

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 holiday.

But what Rachel doesn't count on are the toe-curling embarrassments heaped on her by family and group therapy, the dearth of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll - and missing Luke, her ex. What kind of a new start in life is this?

Originally published: 1997.

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 holiday. But what Rachel doesn't count on are the toe-curling embarrassments heaped on her by family and group therapy, the dearth of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll--and missing Luke, her ex. What kind of a new start in life is this?

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

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 do something 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. Excerpted from Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

The story of 27-year-old drug addict Rachel Walsh, who is sent to The Cloisters, an Irish Betty Ford Clinic, is hardly a holiday as Keyes details virtually every moment of addiction, struggle, and denial. Not that one expects quick cures, but the novel suffers from an agonizingly slow pace as almost 60 chapters (ten of the 12 tapes) unwind before Rachel begins to acknowledge her problems. The romantic subplot with fellow addict Chris, battling her love/hate memories of New York City hunk Luke, is predictable. Rachel herself evokes little sympathy. The humor is appropriately dark and ironic, while Gerri Halligan's reading balances Rachel's inner turmoil and the group therapy rhetoric and banter well. Of limited interest, except for very patient Romance audiences. Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Irish by birth but a trendy New Yorker for the past eight years, Rachel Walsh learns just what it means to have too much fun in this lively drama about addiction and recovery. Rachel enjoys cocaine, alcohol and meeting men in bars, especially men wearing tight leather pants. She can match anybody's hilarious anecdotes about a Catholic childhood, but recently her life's gone awry, and God has become "more like a celestial stand-up comic" than a "benign old guy with long hair." When she wakes up in a hospital emergency room and finds she's been diagnosed as a suicidal drug addict, she's enraged. She's also broke and unemployed, and her boyfriend has abandoned her. As a final indignity, her father takes her back home and books her into Dublin's Betty Ford-like clinic, the Cloisters. Famous for a clientele of rock stars, it should be a glamorous spa, but it isn't. Quarters are spartan, clients do housework and group therapy is humiliating. It could be worse, though, and there's one good-looking fellow-inmate who might, or might not, be a lifeline post-Cloisters. This novel isn't a how-to on overcoming addiction but an examination, often comic, of treatment that is expected to result in personality changes necessary for recovery. Smart-ass Rachel actually becomes a beguiling heroine after learning to wake up and cook eggs at about the same time in the morning she used to fall into somebody's bed in New York. Clever badinage ("the only way to get over one man is get under another") unfortunately sometimes gives way to phrases like "pantie-meltingly gorgeous." The narrative is overlong, and the characters rarely speakÄthey yell or shriekÄbut, overall, Keyes's stylish wit keeps readers attentive, and her take on addiction is insightful and compassionate. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Rachel Walsh would describe herself as too large, unsexy, middle class, broke, and misunderstood. She would also deny that she has a "drug problem," but when her father insists that she go to The Cloisters, a ritzy rehabilitation center in Ireland, she jumps at the chance to lounge around with actors and rock stars. Instead, she encounters a lot of middle-aged men in brown cardigans and is surprised to discover that she's expected to help with the chores. She's shocked, too, by the lengthy accounts her loved ones have written the shrinks about her drug and alcohol use, habitual borrowing of money, and one-night stands. Rachel eventually realizes that she's in denial, and then she begins to worry. Will she ever be forgiven? Will Luke, a gorgeous hunk with no fashion sense, ever desire her again? Keyes' intriguing, fast-paced account of an addict's recovery features personable characters with realistic blends of humor and imperfections and a heroine, who, despite her exasperating self-pity and shallowness, is witty enough to keep readers rooting for her. --Deborah Rysso