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Walsh Family Books In Order

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Publication Order of Walsh Family Books

Watermelon (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rachel's Holiday (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Angels (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Anybody Out There? (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mystery of Mercy Close (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Again, Rachel (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Walsh Family Collections

Mammy Walsh's A-Z of the Walsh Family (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Walsh family series is a collection of novels written by Marian Keyes. It is a family of five sisters: Claire, Rachel, Maggie, Anna and Helen. The series also gives a glimpse into their parents. They live in Dublin, Ireland and are going through various struggles. Keyes has written about each of them. She is an Irish novelist whose series on the Walsh family is written in the Irish setting.

Her books deal with issues affecting the ordinary person such as depression, domestic abuse, addiction and illness. She tactless these issues in a witty, humorous and compassionate way seeking to identify with the reader while giving the reader hope. T The family is a combination of different levels of crazy portrayed in such a witty way that the reader cannot get enough of them.


Watermelon is the first novel in the series and was published in 1995. It is about Claire Walsh who is the eldest of the Walsh sisters. Claire was living her dream life with a great job, beautiful apartment and who she thought was her soul mate, her husband James. At 29 years, she decides to start a family but James, her husband, left her immediately after giving birth to their first child in London. He gets into a relationship with their neighbor downstairs leaving Claire devastated. She decided to travel back home to Ireland to her loving family. Her life crumbles before her and she finds herself drowning her sorrows with vodka while in her mother’s old night gowns. Here she finds her road to healing, though in the company of a rather eccentric family. Her family is characterized by crazy sisters who quarrel over men and clothes, a mother addicted to soap operas and a father bewildered as a result of the women surrounding him. Her younger sisters provide her with comfort and she sheds the extra weight. In no time she meets a new lover.

James gets back into the scene repentant just when Claire has met a handsome young man and began to fall in love. Keyes drops a few surprises here and there in this hilarious love roller coaster. Now a hard choice lies ahead. She must decide whether to forgive James and reclaim her dream life in London or to start a life with the handsome young Adam. It is a journey that keeps the reader intrigued and unable to put the book down. This novel describes Claire in a way that readers identify with her, sharing in her struggles and victories. This book became a hit instantly as it is written in a style that appeals to all age groups. In Britain, it was taken up as a fresh Talent Book, a trend that was picked by other countries including the United States in 1997. The book is now available in thirty three different languages.

Rachel’s holiday

Rachel’s holiday is the second publication in the series and was published three years after Watermelon in 1998.The setting is in Both New York City and the Walsh Family home area Dublin. It is about another Walsh sister called Rachel Walsh. Rachel has been living what she believes is a normal life in New York City for the last eight years. She works and occasionally takes recreational drugs, a habit she considers normal until her sister Maggie and her sister’s husband arrive in her apartment. She finds herself admitted in a rehabilitation clinic that her family spent their life savings to pay for. The only reason she agree to go though is because she believes that she’s going to a fancy place on holiday and agreeing to go will get her family off her back.

The story revolves around her journey to recovery while oscillating between the past and present in a bid to give the readers more insight into her life. Her relationships with family members and lover are explored giving the reader insight into how she got where she is and letting the reader be part of her recovery journey. This story is given from Rachel’s perspective in the first person narrative. This story is made in a funny and witty writing style managing to make addiction funny without losing the seriousness of the condition. The writer manages to brig every character to life even the ones in the rehabilitation center while elicitation emotions like disgust and compassion and the occasional laughter. The story is an inspirational one of the fight to discover herself and get back to normalcy amidst many odds.

Each novel in the Walsh family series leaves you yearning for more. They tell of each of the journey of Claire, Rachel, Maggie and Anna Walsh through life while giving a glimpse into who their parents are. Claire in Watermelon is portrayed as optimistic and unbreakable and draws the reader to empathize with her and leaves you wanting to know more about the Walsh family. Rachel’s story is told in first person and her changing personalities in typical addict style as the book progresses leaves the reader conflicted. Maggie’s ,the good girl in the family, story is told in the book Angels and is written in typical Marian Keyes style of humor keeping the reader engaged from start to finish. Anna’s story follows in the book Anybody out there’ and it contains a bit of Helen’s life as well. Helen’s story comes last in the book the mystery of Mercy close.’ The story of the Walsh sisters is about their flaws and vulnerabilities like weight and body image issues, dead end jobs, sex and relationships and alcohol, an aspect that makes them quite popular among women as they get to identify with the insecurities in the sisters. Watermelon and Rachel’s holiday were taken up by British film companies who bought the rights to make them into films though they have only been optioned so they may or may not end up as films.

The Walsh Family a well known series, written by Marian Keyes, an Irish author. The 6-book series have been published between 1995 and 2012. The first two books of the series titled Watermelon (1995) and Rachel’s Holiday (1997) respectively have both received highly acclaimed critics and rated at a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Aside from the Walsh Sister series other novels written by Keyes include; Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, The Charming man, The brightest star in the sky and The Woman Who Stole My Life.

Marian Keyes is well known for writing women’s literature based on domestic violence, drug abuse, mental illness and alcoholism. Being an Irish book award Winner with over 22 million copies of her novels have been sold worldwide. What inspired her to write about The Walsh Sisters series was during the time she developed alcoholism, depression and suicidal tendencies.

Below are the descriptions of the novels in order.

Watermelon (1995)

This novel introduces us to the five Walsh sisters, namely; Claire, Rachel, Maggie, Anna and Helen. Seen through Claire’s point of view, Watermelon is a dramatic love story at the same time humorous. Claire has been abandoned by her husband on the day she has just given birth to her baby. This story is about love, loneliness and finding hopefulness, Claire decides to go back home in Dublin to help in discovering herself and after sometime her husband wants to reconcile.

Rachel’s Holiday (1997)

Rachel is the heroine in this second release of the series. She is eccentric and optimistic though her partying hard lifestyle lands her in the emergency room due to drug overdose and perceived suicidal attempts at the same time losing her boyfriend. Written in the first person perspective and alternating between present day and flashback, Rachel is addicted to recreational drugs but she is in denial because she only thinks she is having fun.

Angels (2002)

Maggie, the good girl of the family has always been quiet with a non-complicated lifestyle. She discovers her husband is having an affair and her boss wants to fire her, she therefore flees to Hollywood to stay with her best friend. But, it is not how she always thought it would be. In LA she hangs out with superstars and directors for once in her life she decides to have a carefree attitude.

Anybody Out There? (2006)

Anna’s story, she is quirky and returns home after an accident that has left her with a facial scar and a lot of fractures on her body. But, where is her husband? He is no longer returning her calls or answering her email, though she might be desperate to return to New York will she be ready to move on from her husband Aidan.

The Mystery of Mercy Close (2012)

This novel is from Helen’s point of view, according to Keyes; she stated that Helen was a tricky character to write about. She is a private investigator with no money, which leaves her no option but to move back home.

The first book of The Walsh Sisters series was adapted into a movie. It features Anna Friel as Claire, Jamie Draven, Ciaran McMenamin, Sean McGinglry and Brenda Fricker. Its original release date was in 16th April 2003, on ITV for about 74 minutes. Mary Keyes main focus was on the characters and how to make them tick; they each had their own vices and virtues.

Clair Webster

· She is optimistic.

· Hard to suppress.

Rachel Walsh

· Eccentric

· Optimistic

· Free-spirited

Anna Walsh

· She is quirky and fun.

· Eccentric

Maggie Walsh

· Reserved

Helen Walsh

· Courageous

· Vulnerable

· Wasp-tongued

The themes in The Walsh Sister series include;

· Love: This theme is more widely expressed in Watermelon, for instance Clare loves her husband James they might have separated but Clare still believes they can rekindle there love. Her husband tries to search for love in the arms of another woman but it is not what he is looking for.

Clare reciprocates Adam’s love after realizing that they are not going to get back together. Adam wants his daughter from the previous relationship to love him back by being friend with his ex-girlfriend and much more instances.

· Infidelity: Clare cheating on James while they were married, leading to James leading her.

· Drug abuse and alcoholism: Rachel being addicted to recreational drugs, to the point of suicide which find her in the emergency room.

· Family and sisterhood

· Jealousy

· Depression: Helen has depression because of an episode that left her hospitalized,

· Relationships

· Anxiety

The point of view used in the series is first person; you get to see what is happening through the eyes of the protagonist. This is unique because you get to connect more with the characters from scratch to finish. For example, in Watermelon you get to see how Clare’s husband left her to where Clare and Adams continue to pursue their relationship London, England.

Each novel in the series has its story; like in Watermelon whatever happens to Clare the readers will have to relate to her emotionally.

The last book was the highly anticipated of them all because finally Helen’s story was out. The sixth book of the series Mammy Walsh’s A-Z of The Walshes is a humorous e-book of a short guide to various favorite Irish family about 66 pages.

Helen is the readers fan favorite, as she appeared in her sister’s book she seemed strong-willed and a little bit eccentric. She cannot pay her mortgage and she does not want her lover of six months to find out, she experiences anxiety while trying to struggle with herself. In the last book about Helen, she is trying to navigate the past so as to find what is happening in the future as a private investigator.

Apart from the sisters, in this series we get to be introduced to new characters, we get to see relationships unraveling and we get to connect with the characters on a more personal and emotional level. This book is a must but if you support women empowerment and sisterhood. You will definitely find it to be an interesting page-turner, you will also get to see how the characters develop and the various style in which it has been written.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Walsh Family

2 Responses to “Walsh Family”

  1. Minda Smith: 2 years ago

    Please tell in what order must I read the Walsh girls books.

    • Graeme: 2 years ago

      The order that they were published is fine 🙂


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