Saturday, November 09, 2013

Rachel's Holiday (by Marian Keyes)

Between birding, fanfic-reading, working a demanding new job, and trying to crawl through Gravity's Rainbow by the end of the year, I'm not finding a ton of time for reading other things. But I'm still sprinkling a little fun romantic fare in here and there. (Next up is Lost and Found by Friend of the Show Chris Van Hakes.)

This one is a sequel of sorts to Watermelon, focusing on another girl in the Walsh family, Rachel. She lives in New York and doesn't think she has a drug problem, not even when she overdoses and almost dies. Her stuffy, responsible older sister (I hope there's a book about this character, since she seems like she could have hidden depths) flies to New York to bring Rachel back to Dublin and put her in rehab. There's an addict-in-denial plotline as well as a New York romance plotline told mostly in flashbacks.

This actually isn't my favorite Keyes, and I can't quite put my finger on why, since I do really like several elements of it: I love that Keyes deals with some deeper subjects like addiction and doesn't gloss over them, and I enjoyed the flawed narrator, Rachel. But the general vibe of the book was a little depressing. I mean, obviously, it's going to have a serious tone, but I think I didn't quite enjoy the supporting characters. None of the cast of characters of addicts really endeared themselves to me, and Rachel's mother veered into irredeemably awful by the end of it. I do quite love Helen, though.

So compared to the other Keyes novels this one isn't my favorite, but I still am on the Keyes train and excited to read more. Thanks for the recommendation, Sheila!