LIFE AFTER YES

 

 

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About Life After Yes

Life After Yes (HarperCollins/Avon May 18, 2010) is the story of Quinn- born Prudence Quinn O’Malley – a confused young Manhattan attorney who loses her father on that tragic September morning that changed everything. Now, at an existential crossroads in her life, Quinn must confront impossible questions about commitment and career, love and loss. Her idealistic beau desperately wants a wedding, and whisks her away to Paris just to propose. But then Quinn has a dream -  featuring judges and handcuffs and Nietzsche and Britney . . . and far too many grooms. Suddenly, her future isn’t so clear. Quinn’s world has become a minefield of men – some living, some gone, and traversing it safely is going to take a lot more than numerous glasses of pinot grigio.

 

Praise for Life After Yes:

“What could have been a ho-hum story of a golden girl’s engagement to an equally golden boy is tempered and hardened by the specter of 9/11. Quinn is the beautiful, smart, successful young lawyer; daughter of smart, successful, wealthy parents; living a fiction-perfect life as a junior partner in a major law firm; and engaged to Sage, an equally blessed investment banker. All is according to plan until a September morning when her father meets his broker for breakfast at the top of the World Trade Center. Life shatters, but of course life goes on. In her grief, Quinn questions and tests the love and loyalty of everyone, and acts out in ways that others are willing to tolerate, for a while. Finally, she becomes aware of the grief and burdens that others bear, and finds and accepts the flaws in herself and others that her previous self would not have. First-novelist Rowley creates credible characters and situations with sharp dialogue and apt descriptions, and wisely lets a personal perspective embody the story of a national disaster.” — Booklist

“Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s compelling debut novel Life After Yes is funny, and a wickedly accurate picture of the life of a particular breed of Manhattanites � and it�s also thought-provoking and deeply moving.” – Gretchen Rubin, author of #1 New York Times’ bestseller The Happiness Project

Life After Yes is a hilarious and heartbreaking story that explores the halfway-there terrain between accepting the proposal and saying “I do.” A tale of love, grief, confusion, and the quest for certainty, this brave debut explores the choices we make, and the ones we must forgo to keep moving.” –J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Commencement

“Rowley skillfully dissects the myth of having it all in this unputdownable late coming of age story set in rarefied Manhattan. Her flawed and complex characters will stick with you long after Life After Yes‘s final pages since they are all too human as they struggle with love and loss.” – Julie Buxbaum, author of The Opposite of Love and After You

“A moving look at post 9/11 life, love and loss.” Aidan Donnelley Rowley writes with a deft hand.” A great new talent.” – Molly Jong-Fast, author of Normal Girl

“Aidan Donnelley Rowley paints a tender portrait of life post 9/11 Manhattan through the eyes of a confused, grieving yuppie who should be happy and doesn’t know why she’s not. Quinn O’Malley’s search for meaning is touching and universal.- Kristina Riggle, author of Real Life & Liars

“A resounding yes! to Life After Yes – a novel that explores, with charm and humor, life after loss. Readers will root for its endearing narrator, Quinn O’Malley, as she confronts the road not taken and navigates the conflicting and complicated intersections of head and heart.” – Mameve Medwed, author of Of Men and Their Mothers

“A must-read modern love story for any woman wondering which man, and which direction, is the right one.” – Tatiana Boncompagni, author of Hedge Fund Wives

“Although it features a cast of hot, wealthy people cavorting in and around my favorite city, Life After Yes isn’t a fairy tale either.” Aidan offers us a wholly realistic protagonist whose life – although full of the trappings of happiness – is accessorized with grief, fear, and struggles with identity.” Life After Yes captures pitch-perfectly the mood and anxieties of a group of New Yorkers in the wake of September 11th…And it is good. It is really good.” (Motherese)

“Aidan explores thoughtfully all the various tools that people use to numb themselves, to avoid really looking at the core of who they are and what they have chosen. There is alcohol, there is empty flirtation and sex, there is betrayal, there is plain old denial. We watch Quinn realize the futility of all of these crutches, and ultimately we see the beauty and joy that is possible when we overcome the human instinct to hide from ourselves… I loved Life After Yes.” (A Design So Vast)

“This book resonated with me, and will with anyone who has ever felt that nagging confusion after making a big change, a big decision in their lives. So, this book, will resonate with everyone. It speaks to the many layers of the human spirit with raw honesty, while grappling with issues of grief, humility, and love.” (The Extraordinary Ordinary)

“Where Aidan really shines is in her drawings of relationships and in her subtle questions about those relationships — about how we dance with the people in our lives emotionally: mothers and daughters, mothers-in-law and their sons, romantic partners, exes, best friends. Life After Yes depicts a world in which people are neither good nor bad, but many shades of gray, on many different levels. She writes about forgiveness and blame, doubts and assurances, joy and grief. She writes about life. That she so clearly lives it with vigor and thought comes through not only in her blog, but in her novel.” (The Elmo Wallpaper)

“Empathizing with and even starting to like Quinn the tiniest bit are a testament to the skill of this talented author, and I am amazed she is a new kid on the block and that this is her first novel. As I continued reading Life After Yes, I was amazed by Donnelley Rowley’s unflinching yet layered exposition of Quinn as she navigates New York post-9/11 in an attempt to figure out whether the choices that she is making will lead to a fulfilling life… *Highly Recommended(Linus’s Blanket)

“Now let me say right here that this is not normally my type of book. In fact, after the first page or two I was asking my self ‘Why did I decide to read this? It’s so cliche!’. But then something odd happened. Quinn thought the same thing. And that got me interested in the story. I wondered what was going to happen to a woman who supposedly has everything she should wish for but who suddenly doubts it all… this wasn’t a typical romance/chick-lit type of book. It had it’s dark moments but there was a surprising amount of fun moments as well.” (Life and Times of a “New” New Yorker)

The conflict that shows in Aidan’s first novel is amazing – the conflict between Prudence and Quinn, one and the same person but two distinctly different beings; the conflict between Quinn and others in the novel. The characters scream reality. I can picture myself in younger years as several of them. The setting is a city I love and the descriptions so vivid I feel as if I am there. (Nicki’s Nook)

“The novel’s characters are sincere, three dimensional. Aidan’s use of language weaves a hypnotic spell… Will Quinn marry Sage or reunite with her old flame Phelps? Will she continue her climb up the corporate legal ladder or walk away? Can she get over losing her dad and find true happiness? Does that even exist? I loved Quinn, with her many imperfections and her self absorbed angst, and I loved Life After Yes. I was sad when I read the last page because I didn’t want it to end.” (Island Roar)

“I encourage you all to buy this book because 1.) it’s extremely well-written 2.) you will probably cry at some point 3.) you will suddenly get the urge to name your daughter Quinn or some other masculine name {Henri made my future baby name list this weekend} 4.) the cover is simply beautiful 5.) because I said so!” (Confessions of a Bookaholic)

“I will admit, rather shamefacedly, that I was anticipating more girlishness in the book than there was. And while I enjoyed the day at the beach those years ago when I read Bridget Jones’ Diary, I don’t traditionally pick those books off the shelf. Aidan’s book was touching and feminine without trying too hard to land the chick-lit vote, which for someone who doesn’t vote that way, was terrific. Her protagonist was aware of her flaws and her lapses toward cliche and that made her so much more human and easy to relate to, even as she was rich and pretty. The story traces a relationship through the unexpectedly rocky times post-engagement as the protagonist, Quinn, wonders if she’s making the right decisions about anything. Woven throughout the story are memories of her father who died in the Twin Towers but the book doesn’t seek to capitalize on boo-hoo 9/11 hokum like SO MANY OTHER BOOKS DID (I’m looking at you, Don DeLillo). So I now feel confident, nepotismessness aside, in recommending Life After Yes as excellent summer reading that even snobbish bitches like me who look at the girlbook table with disdain can guiltlessly enjoy.” (Did I Really Move to Greenwich?)

“Although Life After Yes tackles some heavy issues such as a parent’s death, reconsidering an impending marriage, engaging in an affair with a past lover, and betraying a friend’s trust, it is still overall an uplifting story. It is not what I consider to be a fluff read; Rowley is very knowledgeable in philosophy and it is apparent in this novel. I absolutely fell in love with her passages on Plato and true love and marriage. Ever since finishing this novel, I have pondered those paragraphs and shared them with friends. This book is highly recommended for readers who enjoy intelligent women’s literature.” (Luxury Reading)

“Deeply philosophical, sharp and witty, without a doubt Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s book, Life After Yes, will be one of my top picks for the year. Rowley writes a masterfully crafted novel, with flashbacks, personal character revelations, and descriptive imagery. Throughout the novel it is quite clear Rowley wants to share her love of Manhattan with the reader. Life After Yes is a novel that the reader will fall into and not want to end. Past, present and the fear of the unknown future are all intricately woven into this wonderful book. I highly recommend Life After Yes to any reader, and strongly advise book discussion groups to cho0se this novel.” (Rundpinne)

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