Life After Yes: A Novel

Life After Yes: A Novel

by Aidan Donnelley Rowley


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061894473
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/18/2010
Pages: 343
Product dimensions: 8.02(w) x 5.38(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Born and raised in New York City, Aidan Donnelley Rowley graduated from Yale University and received her law degree from Columbia University. She is the author of a previous novel, Life After Yes, and the creator of the Happier Hours Literary Salons. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and three daughters.

What People are Saying About This

Mameve Medwed

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, as she confronts the road not taken and navigates the conflicting and complicated intersections of head and heart.

J. Courtney Sullivan

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

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.

Customer Reviews

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Life After Yes 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
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. Life After Yes is a blisteringly honest, thoroughly modern tale of life and love in chaos, marking the arrival of a truly exciting new voice in contemporary fiction. About Aidan Donnelley Rowley Aidan Donnelley Rowley is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School who writes about life as a mother and writer on her blog Ivy League Insecurities ( She was born and raised in New York City, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. Follow Aidan on Twitter: @ADonnRowley Connect with Aidan on Facebook: Aidan Donnelley Rowley Aidan Donnelley Rowley My Review: As with all my book reviews I have promised to provide an honest review in my own opinion and while the story between the lines is great, as a Christian reviewer with many readers who feel the same as I do, I have to say that this book shares a great deal of profanity. It may not bother some but I have to say it did bother me. Halfway through the book, in my opinion the book is very graphic in it's ability to share the intimate details of the sex life of Sage's and Quinn's life in the bedroom, as well as a man she barely knows who loses his phone in her lap during a cab ride in NYC. The story is basically what some women may fear once they say I do, after the initial proposal and then second guess themselves through their day to day experiences and wonder if they did the right thing by saying Yes. The book is based in NYC just after 9/11 as Quinn has lost her father and therefore has to deal with losing her father while making sure she is doing the right thing for her life. She sees marriage as a one time thing and wants to make sure she is doing the right thing. I received this book compliments of TLC Book Tours and looking past the material contained within the pages, I found the story to be very real to the things many women would experience.
ImBookingIt on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I was fascinated by this hard working, hard drinking young woman, who was far more obsessed with looking good on her wedding day than she was with her groom.Quinn's groom was a sweet mama's boy, but the book wasn't really about him. I had trouble keeping Quinn's friends straight, but the book wasn't about them either. All the supporting characters (her family, her coworkers, her personal trainer/therapist) were fun and worked well enough.The odd thing about this book was that I kept thinking that a happy ending would consist of Quinn and Sage realizing that neither of them was ready to get married-- they both needed to grow up a little. You'd think that I'd hope that they'd do that growing up, because it seems like they could make a nice couple down the road, but that wasn't what I was thinking.
readingwithtea on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Summary: Prudence Quinn O'Malley, the protagonist of Life After Yes, is whisked off to Paris by her boyfriend for a romantic weekend and a proposal. Back in her New York lawyer life with a sparkly diamond on her hand, she has doubts about her future, her fiancé and herself. Her father, recently killed in the September 11 attacks, is very present in her memory and she desperately wishes for his wisdom as she navigates that rocky period between the giving of one ring and the giving of a second.Full disclosure: Aidan Donnelley Rowley is the author of the Ivy League Insecurities blog, which I read daily without fail. Thus the fact that I "know" her a fraction and have some measure of interaction with her, compared to all those anonymous authors out there, may colour my review slightly; although I have tried not to let it. I would definitely recommend the blog!Quinn is of course ex-Ivy League, a lawyer, slim, beautiful, fashionable, with a good salary and an investment banker partner. So far, so standard. But Quinn is not a black-and-white protagonist, she definitely has her flaws: her drinking verges on the alcoholic, she's clearly not yet over her long-term boyfriend whom she dumped not all that long ago in order to take up with her now fiancé, and she fails quite a few moral tests during the course of the book. I savoured this very realistic character - not the perfect athletic superwoman so many authors choose, and not the ditzy airhead (see Bridget Jones, Confessions of a Shopaholic...). I wanted to believe better of her on several occasions, and it's not often you feel let down by the heroine. (Although Jane Eyre and I are going to have words one day about her running off into the wilderness without any money and leaving her belonging on the coach. Because that was all pretty stupid and not really worthy of Jane). Quinn's grief is crippling and real, and this (as many of the reviewers pointed out on the cover) gives depth and texture to what could otherwise be passed off as chick-lit fluff. I loved Quinn's mother - wise, feisty, suffering her grief in private, but clearly a woman who knows how to have her fun, and knows her daughter very well. Sage didn't convince me - he seemed pretty dull. What did Quinn see in him? His mother is terrible, truly awful, but there is a beautiful moment towards the end which does eventually endear her to the reader. His father, like Quinn's, is absent, although for very different reasons, and I think Rowley didn't particularly want Sage's father to contend with the strength of the void left by Quinn's father's death. I struggled with most of the minor characters - Kayla was too extreme, Avery too pale - I didn't really understand why Quinn would be friends with them. Quinn's brother Michael was very interesting and I was sorry not to see more of him in the plot.Rowley has chosen a particularly unusual period of life about which to write - I am far more used to "getting the guy" being the resolution of the story. We follow Quinn from near-commitment to actual commitment and it permits us to live her doubts, her fears - all those emotions that brides-to-be are supposed to suffer through, but silently.All in all, a very enjoyable read, most commendable as a debut, and I hope to read plenty more of Rowley's writing (not just on her blog!)
knittingmomof3 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
From My Blog...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. Reading Life After Yes is similar to spending time listening to your best friend, the one with all the wit, yet never realising they are witty, telling their story. I personally have a friend like this and I adore listening his stories so for me, Rowley's writing feels familiar and her characters quickly become friends. The main character, Prudence Quinn O'Malley is going through a series of major life changes. Her father was killed in one of the towers during 9/11, a few months later she is whisked off to Paris and becomes engaged, all the while trying to navigate the world of being a relatively new attorney. As Quinn thinks of her life she has disturbing dreams of her ex-boyfriend Phelps, her current Fiancé Sage McIntyre and Victor, her personal trainer. Quinn is a flawed and uncertain, making her endearing to the reader, along with her quick wit and unpretentious behavior, she is a delightful character. 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. Quinn's two best friends Avery and Kayla are complete opposites and together comprise both sides of Quinn. The subject matter is at times rather deep, philosophical, and uncertain, yet Rowley uses her characters' sharp wits to keep the story from becoming too heavy or depressing. 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 chose this novel.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Angie Book provided by the publisher for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book I’ll be honest – I chose to read this book based solely on the Carrie Bradshaw-esque model wearing an absolutely exquisite wedding dress; the story was just a bonus. All of the characters in this book are overachievers, overly well off, and overly cliched, but don’t let that deter you from this book – Ms. Rowley really knows how to suck you right in and make you stay up until all hours wondering if Quinn will ever just stop trying to rationalize life and just go with the flow! I love how flawed Quinn was. And Kayla, the quintessential rich girl who was looking for love in all the wrong places and finds it in the least likely place. Come to think of it, there were so many supporting characters that I wish we’d heard more from {or about}. I can only hope that in future novels that some of these characters will take center stage – especially Michael, Kayla, and Avery. Especially Avery – I want to know more about her and what happened with her fiance darn it! But I digress. More than trying to deal with the fact that she was about to become someone’s wife, Quinn is still reeling from the death of her father who had unfortunately been in one of the Twin Towers having breakfast with his Banker when the…well, you know what happened. I enjoyed the tidbits of information about Quinn’s father, but I wanted to know more about him. Overall, I absolutely loved this book. Flawed and imperfectly emotional to read, Ms. Rowley really nailed it on the head when she wrote this book.
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candc320 More than 1 year ago
Life After Yes is smart, literary chic-lit with all the right components: witty, imperfect characters, a dynamic backdrop and emotions that run the gammit. Anyone who reads this will find some of themselves in between the pages, whether that is good or bad. You cannot help but love the characters with all their flaws because they are all of us, living and surviving as best they can. Prudence Quinn O'Malley is a smart, slightly self-absorbed Upper Westsider who works as a lawyer and drinks for a hobby. The night after her man, Sage, proposes in Paris with a flashy ring picked out by his mother, Quinn has a dream that shakes her already brittle confidence. She worries about whether Sage is the person she wants to spend the rest of her life with or if it is even realistic to think you can have only one man in your life. As she contemplates her mama's boy fiance her ex, who she still hasn't figured out why she left, steps back into the light. Quinn swirls around these issues in the pampered Upper West side of Manhatten shortly after the September 11th that changed all of America. This even more for Quinn since her father, the one man she seems to have no qualms about, died at the top of one of the twin towers that fell. She is afraid, confused and angry at times as she barrels towards her future. Can the flashes of happiness she has with Sage be enough to sustain her for her life? Or is the secret to that hiding in her past? I could not help but love Quinn. Even when she was being spoiled, touchy, self-centered and overbearing I still wanted to see the best in her. I wanted to giggle with her when she was able to laugh, scold her when she was being irrational with her sometimes too patient man and slap her silly when she made choices I found beyond bad choice. She made me laugh and she made me cry. I found so much of myself in her insecurities and didn't want to leave her behind. Quinn is a character that will stay with me. She embodies the inner struggle we all have when we try, or are forced, to grow up. Don't make the mistake of passing this one up. You will not be dissapointed
Crazy-for-Books More than 1 year ago
Do you ever feel like a book comes into your life at a time when you really need it? It's like some force in the world told me that I needed to read Aidan Donnelley Rowley's book, Life After Yes, at this point in my life. The main character, Prudence (aka Quinn) recently lost her father in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and has now found herself newly engaged to her man, Sage (interesting name, btw!). I felt so deeply connected to Quinn's story; I could feel her ups and downs as she tries to figure out who she is in her life and if her life is going where she wants it to. I related so intensely to this book and to Quinn's character - her confusion, her insecurity, her relationships with her friends and family. The Setting: The book takes place in the year follow the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was incredibly moving to read a fictional story about this time and about a character who lost her father in the attacks. It added an additional element to the story that really struck me. The Characters: I loved Quinn. She's unsure, insecure, and unhappy in her life. Her journey is one of hope and one that I connected to. I felt like Quinn was a friend and that she was sitting right next to me telling me the story. She is full of flaws, but that is what makes her so interesting. Her fiancee, Sage, is the stereotypical great guy who I found myself rooting for through the book. You can tell that he really loves Quinn, flaws and all, and their love story felt very true and real. There are also other characters who show up in the story: Quinn's friends Kayla and Avery, her brother, Michael, her mother, Sage's mother, Quinn's personal trainer, and Quinn's ex-boyfriend. All of them add depth to the story and make it very real. The Plot: Quinn is struggling with life after she accepts a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Sage. She has a crazy dream that makes her start questioning her choices. She reminisces about her past with her ex-boyfriend, who also happens to pop back into her life during this confusing time. The plot basically revolves around Quinn finding her way through life post-9/11, and post-engagement. I was able to relate very well with her and I imagine that many other women will be able to as well. Who hasn't had confusing moments of: Am I doing the right thing? What is life all about? To sum up: This book is very easy to read and the author writes very well. The story moves quickly and I was able to read it in about a day. I can't rave enough about this book and I encourage you to go and find your own copy asap!! I am eagerly anticipating more from this author in the future!!
Danielle92278 More than 1 year ago
Let me start off by saying that I have been reading Aidan's blog, for about a year. She has been bookmarked from day one and I anticipate her daily blog post's, well not daily, but M-F. I have always enjoyed her posts, but they are only a couple hundred words and the topics differ. I knew she had written a book and no matter what, I was going to read it, but these days it seems that anyone and everyone is a "blogger," so expecting the world from a virgin novelist was not something I anticipated. Boy was I shocked! I. LOVE. LIFE. AFTER. YES!!! I will say it again... I. LOVE. LIFE. AFTER. YES!!! You will be captivated from the beginning. You go on such an amazing journey with the main character, Quinn. You feel like you either know or know of each and every character, even the ones who are nameless. And you will find yourself rooting for the characters. You will be taken on an emotional roller coaster, that makes you question things in your own life. And at the end you will be satisfied, but sad it is over. This is the kind of book that great movies are made from. And I know it is being pigeon-holed as "chick lit," but don't let that tag fool you. Most "chick lit" books are so unbelievably unrealistic (IE: The Devil Wears Prada, the Shopaholic series, Bridget Jones Diary, etc...), that you can predict what will happen three chapters in and you can in no way relate to any characters. Like I said above, you can relate to the characters and all their situations in one way or another. It almost seems like it could be and auto-biography. Although, if "chick lit" is your thing, I have no doubt in my mind that you will definitely enjoy this book. I am so happy Aidan quit her job and wrote this book. She is a true writer with an amazing gift. I cannot wait for her second novel!!!
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