When I read Marian Keyes book, Rachael’s Holiday, my mum asked me to give an honest review so that she could decide also whether to read it. I have read a lot of Keyes books and usually really enjoy her writing style and the characters that she creates so I was excited to dig my teeth into this book.
The book starts with following the main character Rachel and her drug habit. Rachel takes drugs socially but almost every one does in her group of friends; a sophisticated group in New York. However this doesn’t make Rachel an addict, or does it? After an attempted suicide attempt followed by her having her stomach pumped from the violent sleeping pills she took supposedly to help her sleep, Rachel’s addiction starts to show. But the only person that doesn’t see it is Rachel, who thinks it is all just a big misunderstanding and she can sort it out on her own. However Rachel is no longer going to be able to deal with this on her own. Her parents, and her goody-too-shoes sister decide that enough is enough and check her into a rehabilitation clinic. Rachel is naïve and looks forward to a holiday but this is going to be no walk in the park. There will be no saunas, pampering or aromatherapy for her and she is shocked when she turns up at the Cloisters and doesn’t find the beautiful health spa she expected. Not only that she has to share a room with an over talkative older woman and attend group therapy, which she despises.
The main theme that runs through the book is Rachel’s inability to understand that she has a problem with drugs. Throughout the first three quarters of the book she is an unreliable narrator, protesting that she does not need to be in rehab and instead that this is all a terrible mistake. She downplays the extent of her problems and how difficult it is for her to keep up with her habit. However as the story continues we as a reader begin to understand the extent of her habit. When she arrives back in Ireland people start to remark on how slim Rachael has become however as like the rest of the book Rachel denies these comments, however they do not escape the reader. Although I did enjoy the book, I found it difficult to relate to Rachel and became slightly tired of her negative and sometimes rude persona and attitude. However I did feel that the book described how far she had fallen and the deep despair that Rachel feels. As Rachel continued to try to get her life back on track, not always succeeding but trying I started to feel for her. Its an enjoyable read, and although at times I found it despairing I would recommend it for a ‘light read,’ and a few smiles!