Life After Yes: A Review

Hi friends!

Guess what? Today I'll be posting twice! Yup. Be excited.

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My first post is, as you can see, a review of the novel Life After Yes by Aidan Donnelly Rowley. The second will be something competely and totally unrelated to here we go:

Life After Yes: My 100 Word Summary

Prudence Quinn O'Malley is a young attorney in the bustling world of Manhattan, a fairly disenchanted woman who lost her father on September 11, 2001, and is preparing, however anxiously, to get married. The novel opens with a dream sequence, in which Quinn (you'll find out why she doesn't go by Prudence) is bombarded by a series of images, such as multiple grooms, a jury of her "peers" (Britney and Nietzsche, among others), and a nightmare dressed in black. This dream plays an integral role throughout the rest of the novel and we see its relevance in the choices that Quinn makes.

Life After Yes: What I Think

I found myself immediately drawn to Rowley's quick, choppy language, and how she has the ability to relate something that is seemingly innocuous to a memory or a moment with significant consequences (i.e. blackberry pie to Berry Baby). It was increasingly difficult, towards the middle of the book, to not hate Quinn or the rest of her friends and family (even Sage, the fiance, who was, in my opinion, of the rare and patient kind), even while I loved the story. I like to find a connection with characters, but Quinn made me so angry at times that I would cry out to the pages, demanding an answer for her selfish, and reckless, behavior. But I recognize that my strong reactions were the result of a well-written, fantastically moving novel, and that my outbursts were nothing less than genuine concern for the fictional people and outcomes I had become so invested in. Life After Yes pushed me to take a step back and examine Quinn, Sage, and the others, because I found myself wondering how I would respond if I were in their shoes. I'm glad that Rowley could make me care.

I would recommend this debut novel to any young woman who has ever loved more than one man, and to women who have lost a parent and find themselves filtering everything in their life through that loss. While Life After Yes certainly fits a particular "chick lit" mold (woman in her twenties, New York, purpose of on and so forth), Rowley is too smart for me. I wouldn't dare box her up with a pretty little bow and move on to the next one. Unless that "next" just happens to be Rowley's second novel.



kstar said...

I can't wait to read this one!!!

Samantha said...

I loved this book!

Samantha said...

Wendi- You are a January winner, congrats! Please send me an email with your mailing address- Samantha @ chicklitplus . com