Sunday, April 4, 2010
The Life O'Reilly - A Review
The author, Brian Cohen provided a copy of this book to be reviewed.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my honest ideas and views about the story. It is not influenced by the author in any way.
The Life O’Reilly is the story of Nick O’Reilly, an attorney who has amassed a great life. At 36 he has a high flying legal career; he’s a partner of an elite Wall Street law firm and has financial security. However Nick begins to question where his life is heading, and the legacy that he wants to leave behind. As a result of a PR drive, his law firm decides to encourage their associates to take on Pro Bono cases. Nick is asked to represent Dawn Nelson in a domestic violence case. But before long, Nick falls in love with Dawn and her son Jordan. And just when you think that there’s a happy ending, life happens.
If you are in the mood for a good romantic story, then the Life O’Reilly is a great book to read. The general plot was really good. The author used a lot of twists and turns to make the story interesting and to keep the reader glued to every page. The essence of the story is about finding love in the least unlikely of situations. Call me a hopeless romantic or a product of the Life Time Network channel, but I find that stories like this one is more relatable because as human beings, we are always making a connection(whether romantic or friendly). But ultimately the story is about having control over one’s destiny and the ability of one to shape it. We are programmed to set certain goals for ourselves; like getting in to a prestigious college, graduating with honors and obtaining our dream jobs, living in a great house and having financial security. Yet this story forces us to ask ourselves Ok, now what? What’s next after we achieve our academic goals and career dreams?
The relationship that develops between Dawn and Nick is really sweet and believable, and it’s a welcome relief from those that develop in romance stories. More importantly it was relatable. Having worked so closely together it was easy to see how they developed affection for each other. Dawn had everything that Nick longed for; a beautiful, loyal and caring friend who he can also call his wife and an energetic, fun loving son in Jordan. Similarly, Nick represented a loving, stable, protective father and husband to Dawn and Jordan; a far cry from what they had before.
The background for the story was also well done. The author crafted the law firm in such a way that it felt like lawyers existed in another universe. They had their own dress, code of conduct, language and he was careful to show that this was mundane and restrictive especially to married attorneys who often had to sacrifice their family time for work. I guess this strategy was used to compare what Nick had and what he felt like he was missing out on.
Also being a practicing lawyer himself, the author was able to accurately recreate this world. He accounted for everything, including the jargon and terminology. You would think that as a reader, you would be lost in a paragraph full of legal terms however the author was careful in the terms that he choose and how he explained them. So they did not read as confusing. As a result of his analytical background, the author was able to be descriptive with every scenery or emotion, enough to create an image in the readers mind. Yet in his bid to do this, he neglected simple things that would further cement the scene or scenario or to help make it more visual for the reader. One example of this is absence of the way in which illness and subsequent treatment aged the character. Another was the dialogue between characters, which in some instances was a bit repetitive and didn’t quite convince me of the scenario.
I love when characters are paired against each other. I found his happening a lot with Nick and his father. The author used the similarities in their lives to frame Nick’s story for the reader but I felt it was more so to also help tell the story of nick’s father. The only difference between the two is that nick never allowed the disgrace to characterize him.
I did not like that Nick faced a number of issues coming to the close of the book, in quick succession. It felt like over kill. I picked up on the idea that there is never really a happy ending. Even when nick felt content with his life and his family, he was also reluctant and unhappy about the way that things were going to be. However having nick face all of those issues close to the end of the book, really dragged the story and it only serve to cut the momentum of the book.
Aside from this, the story was really a beautiful and romantic one and an overall good read.
There are so many things I wish that I could discuss in this review, however doing so would mean spoiling the book for others. So for that reason, am taking this discussion to my group Book Talk in my book club. You are welcome to join and participate in our talks. Hope to see you there.
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