Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Life O'Reilly

Read 4/3/10 - 4/4/10
3 Stars - Recommended to readers familiar with genre

Many thanks to the author, Brian Cohen, for allowing me the opportunity to review his novel.

This is the story of Nick O'Reilly, named one of the Top 40 Lawyers Under 40; partner in a well known long standing firm - just assigned his first pro bono domestic custody case as a result of the firms attempt to win some popular votes with the public. This is also the story of how Nick falls in love with the woman he is representing, jepordising everything he's worked so hard to achieve, and the chain of events that follow.

While I enjoyed the story and remained engaged the entire time, I struggled to connect with the writing itself. Cohen has a distracting habit of describing everything in painful detail. Every character, each time they appear, in head-to-toe detail, starting with their age and hair color/style, to their clothing and shoes. Every room a character walks into, from rug to furniture to wall hangings. While every novelist must introduce their readers to the world they have created, and the people who populate it, Cohen's style comes across rather loudly - breaking the flow of the storyline - almost "pausing" the moment to freeze frame the person and critique them, rather than allowing their presence to come across smoothly and naturally.

An example: "She was nicely dressed in a black pantsuit, crisp white shirt with the collars spread over the lapels of her jacket, exposing a pearl necklace, and black low heeled, open toed sandals. Dawn's beauty was striking, what with her straight, shining black hair pulled back, and a face, shaped by distinctive bone structure, that was natural and touched up with very little makeup around emerald green eyes."

The straight forward dialogue between characters made this a relatively quick read. Cohen doesn't layer his language - he is clear, concise, and keeps the plot moving forward. He is not one to mince his words.

Not fully realising how the title ties in to the storyline at first, I will give you a heads up... Keep a box of tissues close!

By the way, is that not the most gorgeous book cover?!!

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