Life After Yes

Life After Yes

There is something about mothers. Whether your own or someone else’s, whether Northern or Southern, liberal or conservative, they spill bits of wisdom as they walk. They just know better. Depending on the day, this can be infuriating or enlightening.

Quinn is a 26 year old Manhattan lawyer who has just become engaged to Sage, a banker from down south. They’re living in Manhattan, and the time has come to plan their wedding. Which seems like it should be a happy time, but this is early 2002, in New York, and Quinn’s father was killed in the attack on September 11. Sage is a caring man, and gives Quinn a lot of slack as she tries to figure out how to live her life in a world without her father, tries to come to terms with the magnitude of her loss, and that of so many around her. Quinn is brittle, defensive, and seems to want to push Sage away 3/4 of the time. She’s not sure that she wants to be a lawyer anymore, which seems like a huge change of direction at such a young age. To her and to those around her, even. She is surrounded by good friends, old boyfriends, family, an overwhelming job, and her loving fiance’. She drinks too much, and questions her own motives brutally. She is hard on herself, and on everyone around her. I found myself wondering how much of this hard edge came in on the heels of her father’s death, and how much was there to begin with.

Life After Yes is a story about finding your way after tragedies, both great and small, and about learning to let your guard down and let those you love comfort you, and let yourself comfort them as well. My only real problem with the book was that it seemed unsure as to whether it wanted to be clever or deep and introspective. There were moments of both, and while they worked on their own, together they were a bit jarring.

I bought the book accidentally while in Portland this summer, because the cover reminded me of another book I had been looking for, and I convinced myself that this was it. It wasn’t. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, because I liked the book a lot. It wasn’t great literature, but it was a good read. I would put it in the same genre as Jennifer Weiner’s books. If you like them, you might like this a great deal as well. And look, Aidan Donnely Rowley is a mommy blogger. Awesome!