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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and witty
Rachel Walsh is the middle child from a family of five, is abnormally tall, has size 8 feet, and is fed up. She's left Ireland, and is sharing a flat with Bridgit, her best friend in New York. She's bagged herself a gorgeous boyfriend called Luke, and has a dazzling social life. Or does she?
When she wakes up in hospital the next day, she can't work out why she's...
Published on 15 Aug. 2004 by lucky_lottie

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great.
Three stars for a Keyes novel? Can this be? Unbelievable but true. Yes, she is the queen of 30-something chick Lit. Yes, you have to read the latest Marian Keyes novel, (just as you had to go and see B.Jones, the movie, even though we'd all read the book AND had the obligatory crush on Colin Firth since he walked out of the lake). No, she's no longer writing in the...
Published on 15 Aug. 2001


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and witty, 15 Aug. 2004
This review is from: Rachel's Holiday (Paperback)
Rachel Walsh is the middle child from a family of five, is abnormally tall, has size 8 feet, and is fed up. She's left Ireland, and is sharing a flat with Bridgit, her best friend in New York. She's bagged herself a gorgeous boyfriend called Luke, and has a dazzling social life. Or does she?
When she wakes up in hospital the next day, she can't work out why she's there. Surely Bridgit didn't call an ambulance because she took a few too many drugs the night before? (just to make herself feel better of course).
It soon emerges that Rachel has a serious drug problem. Her parents are understandably worried, so decide to send her to the Cloisters, a drug rehabilitation center. Of course Rachel doesn't need to go, she's just doing it for everyone else. Or is she?
Rachel is contracted to stay at the Cloisters for two months, and she soon realises that it is not going to be a piece of cake. No celebrities, gym or health spa, just her, the other inmates and the tough councillor.
As Rachel goes back in time to establish the cause of her addiction, we see what she really is inside: a lonely, low self esteemed young woman. We see how her actions have affected people around her, and we see how far she has to go to really quash her addiction.
This book was absolutely brilliant, and I could really understand how the characters felt due to the clear and accurate writing of Marian Keyes. Rachel's holiday is a must read, as it is chick-lit on a new level. I would say that is the best book that Marian Keyes has written, far better than Angels and Watermelon. Buy it now!
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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 21 Dec. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Rachel's Holiday (Paperback)
I was given a dog-eared copy of this book while in a rehab centre in Dublin and found it wonderful. The book is written on Marion Keyes own experiences and manages to give an incredibly accurate account of "life inside" without being bogged down with sentamental tales of suffering or sounding like a martyr. It is uplifting, funny and very honest. I for one found it a great help in my recovery, and would even go so far as saying, the fact Rachel is so funny and normal she helped me admit I had a problem and not feel like a freak ! I also lent it to my mum and sisters to help them understand my state of mind at the time. If you or anyone you know has a problem with drugs or alcohol please buy this book, and if you don't, buy it anyway. It's really good. I have read everything she has published since, she is a fantastic storyteller !
ps and that original copy is still doing the rounds as far as I know !!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This one's a keeper, 10 Jan. 2005
By 
bikeshopgirl (O'Connor, ACT Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Last Chance Saloon (Paperback)
Let me begin by saying that I cannot stand 'Bridget Jones's Diary: A Novel'. Although they are marketed to the same demographic, there is no way should you confuse Keyes with Fielding's neurotic, pathetic, 2D schlock.
Sadly, when I first read 'Last Chance Saloon' I was in the confident bloom of my twenties & its truths went straight over my head. My verdict at the time was that it wasn't as engaging as 'Watermelon' or 'Rachel's Holiday', but having re-read it five years later I bow my head in shame. Keyes clearly has some Irish gypsy mojo going on that she was able to predict my (and many others') future so well. If I had paid a little closer attention to the incredibly human detail of this novel, I might have saved myself three years of the confidence dissolving agony that comes with dating & then being engaged to a manipulative loser.
My lesson from this? I've resolved that the next time I think I'm in love with someone, I will read a Marian Keyes novel & have a long hard think about it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice and "serious" book, 2 Aug. 2006
By 
Youla (Athens, Greece) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Last Chance Saloon (Paperback)
I loved this one (as all of Marian's)... I saw another reviewer saying that she was awake until 3am to read on and find out what happens - but I'm even worse, as I stayed up until 3am (well, 2am to be precise) to RE-READ the book!

The three stories of the main characters touch upon different life situations which most of us have come across one way or another, and are therefore very touching. However, even the serious situations are made lighter through Marian's usual and well-loved humour.

The underlying message that we should enjoy our life is very strong - and useful...

A very good read!
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85 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I never tire of this book, 11 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Rachel's Holiday (Paperback)
Having read Rachel's Holiday for the first time 5 years ago, I've since read and re-read it and I just never tire of it. It's more than a girly read. It has more depth than that. I've read all Marian Keyes books and this one by far is her best and strongest novel. However if you plan on reading Rachel's Holiday (which I strongly urge you to do) first read Watermelon,Rachel's Holiday and then Angels. They are a triology of (what I hope will be 5 books) 5 sisters. The Walsh sisters. Claire (Watermelon), Rachel's Holiday (Rachel) and Angels (Maggie). I'm already looking forward to reading about Anna and especially the hilarious Helen.
(PS There was a tv drama based loosly on Watermelon which was awful and not a patch on the great read that it is - that's just by the by!)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes, 8 July 2013
This review is from: Rachel's Holiday (Paperback)
Marian Keyes has said before that she doesn't like the way her novels are sold, the covers in particular. Her novels, she argued, are not fluffy chick lit but stories of the difficulties in life; addiction, loss, grief, single parenthood, depression...and yet they are jacketed in pastels, pinks, upbeat encomium, lurid motifs (high heels, glasses of wine, lipstick...) and so on.

Rachel's Holiday is a prime example of that. Bright pinky-red cover, "A thoroughly funny book!" says The Sunday Times, a prompt that this is from the same author of Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, and a pair of lime-green heels (Rachel wears these on her first date with Luke in the novel). But this isn't the tale of a hapless girl who shirks her boring, normal life, jets off on hols and has a holiday romance. Thank heaven.

Rachel lives in New York, dates Luke (a man she can't help fancy despite all his faults), lives with successful career girl Brigit and they both enjoy all the social aspects that New York has to offer. Only Rachel enjoys them too much and ends up OD-ing. Her family whip her back to Ireland to go into Cloisters - a famous rehab centre. But Rachel doesn't understand why she's there. She's not an addict. She had a normal life in New York. She treated her boyfriend and best friend well. What is everyone moaning about?

As she passes her time in rehab, the narrative jumps back to her life in New York, and slowly as Rachel comes to realise truths about herself we come to realise that life wasn't quite as she remembers it.

I found the chapters dealing with Rachel in rehab far more interesting than the New York chapters. The NY strand is a little dull to be honest but I think that is because we are seeing it through Rachel's unreliable, drug-addled eyes. The truth is far more interesting when it is eventually uncovered. The chapters in rehab are far more interesting; the unravelling of stories, the unravelling of carefully built lies, the unravelling of denial. The characters that Rachel meets are far more interesting than the life in New York and that's exactly what Rachel comes to learn - real life is far more exciting than a drug-addled haze.

Of course it is also a very funny book because Marian Keyes is a very funny lady. And from what I've read of Keyes now, she likes a happy ending. Both of these contribute to the way her books are promoted and that's a shame because I suspect she's got important things to say and unless we stop judging her books by their covers, a lot of us are going to ignore her books.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabuously Funny Book, 27 Oct. 2006
By 
A. Rose (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Last Chance Saloon (Paperback)
Excellent ! This was the first of Marian Keyes books I have read and thoroughly enjoyed it. Laughs from start to finish with an excellent storyline. The characters are strong and well defined with the right amount of description, sympathy etc for each. I shall certainly be reading more of her books and would think that she would appeal to most female readers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book, 19 Feb. 2004
By 
This review is from: Last Chance Saloon (Paperback)
I am not a huge fan of this new breed of so called "Chick Lit", however, whilst browsing in a local charity shop for a good book, something that takes me ages normally, I spotted Last Chance Saloon by Marion Keyes and thought, what the hell, read it and see what all the fuss is about. I took it home and literally couldn't put it down, I have read it and reread it and I love it so much it would have to be in my top ten of best books ever. The characters are so real, from Tara, with her awful relationship with Thomas and her obsession with food, to Katherine and her cold demeanour and her eventual thawing with Joe. I loved it, I hated Lorcan and was so happy when he met his comeuppance. I have bought more Marian Keyes and am in the process of reading them as we speak. Long Live Chick Lit!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read!, 9 Dec. 2005
This review is from: Last Chance Saloon (Paperback)
If you want a book that will make you laugh and cry, then this is the one for you. I loved this book and I couldn't put it down. The best line in the book has to be the one that follows Tara's body wrap experience commenting that she looked like she had just been exhumed. As I had just had a body wrap myself and knew all to well the exhumed look, I was almost falling off the chair laughing at this observation. There were many more observations that had me nodding and laughing in agreement too.
There is also an underlying message in this book that life is short and that we should make the most of it whilst we have it. I would love to read this book again. If you buy this book you certainly won't regret it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 11 Oct. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Last Chance Saloon (Paperback)
Marian Keyes is undoubtedly my favourite author of this genre - as usual she has managed to strike the right balance between pathos and humour with the well drawn characters who feature in this novel as well as the plot. The book was extremely well written, excellent dialogue with characters the reader could empathise & sympathise with - as well as the ones you hate. I managed to read it in just over 2 days (with a job & baby) so that shows how compelling it is.
Anyone out there at a crossroads in life and not sure which path to take - then this book is for you as it certainly would force you to re-evaulate your life.
Again, as with Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, I laughed out loud several times whilst reading this book. Enjoy.
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