Title: Life After Yes: A Novel
Author: Aidan Donnelley Rowley
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Publisher: Avon A
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Quinn has just returned to New York after a weekend getaway to Paris with her boyfriend Sage, where he proposed to her and she said yes. Now that she’s returned home, she doesn’t feel the overflowing joy she thought she would after being engaged. Instead, she feels uneasy and unsure about everything. Less than a year after 9/11, Quinn is still haunted by the memory of her father who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center. In this novel of life, loss, and what it means to grow up, Quinn begins to come to terms with what her life has become and how to move on and leave the past behind.
I’m always searching for quality chick lit that transcends the frustrating stereotypes of the genre, so when I first read about Life After Yes over at Write Meg, I was immediately interested. Just a few days later, I got a review offer from the publisher and accepted based on Meg’s review. I was eager to delve into this novel and see if it spoke to me.
I really loved the character of Quinn. While I didn’t agree with all of her choices, I understood where she was coming from and why she was having so much trouble accepting her life as it was. I completely got why she was having doubts about Sage, and why she couldn’t help but think about her father and how her life would have been different had he been around. Quinn was completely stuck in the past, and couldn’t move on with the present until she dealt with what she thought she had left behind.
Quinn’s real name was Prudence (Quinn was her middle name), and I loved how Rowley worked that into the novel. Quinn was waffling between being prudent with her life and taking those grand gestures, the ones that really mean something. Should she be careful or should she throw herself in and experience everything life has to offer? It’s a great debate, and I love how Quinn matures through the novel as she ponders this question.
The writing style of Life After Yes is actually quite literary, which was a welcome surprise. Additionally, Rowley injects a lot of philosophy into this novel. Quinn is clearly a smart woman, and Rowley makes sure the reader understands that from the very beginning. Chick lit needs more protagonists like Quinn in order to continue to be a viable genre.
Life After Yes was a great read, complete with a wonderfully written, completely human main character. Quinn makes mistakes, but underneath she’s just trying to figure things out one day at a time. Her numbness from her father’s death has taken over her life, and it’s really gratifying to watch her slowly allow herself to feel, to open herself up to those around her. It was a well written novel that I definitely recommend.