Book Reviews

Book Review: Again, Rachel

By Marian Keyes

Published April 2022

472 Pages (hardcover)

I was hardly alone in waiting for another novel in the Walsh Family saga. I mean, Marian Keyes is practically an institution. I distinctly remember stumbling over Rachel’s Holiday at the library, finishing it, and promptly reading everything I could find by Marian Keyes. While I’ll admit that Anna’s book was my favorite (so poignant!), I was not upset to dive into Rachel’s life again.

Roughly twenty years after Rachel first gets sober, she’s living in Ireland and is the head counselor at The Cloisters.  The first surprise is that she and Luke have split up (noooooo!).  She’s dating Quin and it looks like it might be a permanent relationship, until she goes to Luke’s mother’s funeral and realizes she is most definitely not over him.  As she tries to sort out her feelings for Luke, the author treats us to bits and pieces of their backstory, culminating in the final blow of why their relationship didn’t survive.  In between treating patients at the rehab center and planning her mother’s eightieth birthday party, Rachel must dig deep within to figure out if the past she remembers is what really happened or if it was only what she wanted to believe happened.

“Again, Rachel” interpreted by Wombo Dream

To say I wasn’t disappointed would be putting it mildly.  I adore this family – just the planning of the party and all of the side stories with the sisters and their husbands would have made this book entertaining enough.  But the main story line about Rachel trying to wrap her head around her and Luke’s past and the trauma they went through was so honestly presented that I want to applaud the author.  And Rachel’s voice – I loved it!  At first I was a little taken aback at some of her thoughts about her rehab patients, then I realized that honestly, I’d probably be thinking the same thing myself.

The only reason I didn’t give this five stars is because it was a bit long.  Rachel’s flip flopping between angst over her feelings then shoving them aside exasperated me more than once.  I mean, no one communicated!  Seriously, if she had just said something to Luke and/or Quin or asked them what they meant, a good chapter or two could have been shaved off and I don’t think the book would have suffered for it.

Still, it was an excellent read and I highly recommend it.  However, if you haven’t read any of the previous books in this series, I strongly suggest reading Rachel’s Holiday first.

I rated this book 4.5 stars.

Until next time, thank you for visiting. ⭐⭐⭐⭐+

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