Posted 20 hours ago

Again, Rachel: The love story of the summer (Walsh Family, 6)

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The chance to read and review Again, Rachel in a recent Tandem Global Collective read along was a big win for me. Rachel is an addiction counselor dealing with all types of addicts and trying to keep herself clean at the same time. I have probably invested as much energy in the doings of the Walsh sisters as I have my own, flesh and blood family to be honest. But you would be missing out on all of the background and emotional journeys these characters have gone through in the previous books.

I learned a huge amount about addiction recovery and how addiction can take on many forms and go through many pathways. Sadly, they haven’t - they’re as neurotic, vain, frivolous, immature and bitchy as ever, with the exception of Margaret, who barely features. I have been reading Marian’s books for over 20 years and my favourites have always been the ones that involve the Walsh sisters. It was nice to see where Rachel's life took her and how things panned out for her but I'm not one of the OG fans who were fully invested in it so it didn't quite hit the mark for me.I love them with all my heart and the news that there was to be a sequel to Rachel's Holiday had me lepping about the living room like a mad thing for several minutes until I had to sit down and have a biscuit. Again, Rachel has all of Keyes’s trademark wit, humour and whip-smart dialogue, but it’s also a novel teeming with compassion and redemption. In fact, I enjoyed this so much that for the last 5 days I tried to avoid listening to it because I didn’t want it to end.

Whereas I – being like everyone else – was in a constant process of recalibration, trying to negotiate emotional harmony with every new person I met.I read Rachel’s holiday many many years ago and bought this even though I couldn’t really remember the original , but so glad I did. Her particular gift is the ability to settle the reader into a comfortable seat, then carry them to the darkest places; to make serious things funny - and moving. I've seen many of the original fans of Rachel's Holiday have loved this book, so if you enjoyed Rachel's story all those years ago I'm sure you will enjoy the trip down memory lane! No Spoilers or anything read the cover if you want to know the ins and outs- this reviews is just to say MORE again… Helen maybe? It's an ingenious way of dealing with social issues that can shatter lives, whilst doing so with the warm and belly-laugh humour that the author is so good at.

In this book, many forms of addiction are obviously discussed, but also there's a big section on pregnancy loss/stillbirth.When Marian Keyes announced she had written a sequel to her 1997 smash hit novel, Rachel’s Holiday, social media went into overdrive. In Rachel's Holiday, we meet Rachel Walsh as she finds herself unexpectedly a resident in The Cloisters, a rehab centre, where she is being treated for drug addiction. There is lots of brooding and the story slowly unfolds as to what actually did happen in the years since the ending of Rachel's Holiday and the start of Rachel, Again.

My reading tastes have changed over the last 20years I no longer really enjoy “chick lit” but as I have always said there is “chick lit” then there is Marian Keyes. A job she loves as addiction councilor at the Cloisters, a great guy in her life and a garden in which she loves to grow her little plants. The people we were introduced to and came to know throughout the Walsh family chronicles are the same people, yet some have been allowed to grow and mature.

Are there specific conversations in Again, Rachel that stood out due to their authenticity or depth? This is chiefly in relation to the breakup of her relationship with Luke, who left her six years ago for reasons the novel takes slow and measured time to unfurl. As it happened, I could well have been perimenopausal, but it was hard to be sure, seeing as I already had several of the symptoms. Forgiveness for the adversities – seemingly perverse in their cruelty – that life sometimes throws at us. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.

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