the life o'reilly: a novel by brian cohen

Written by Darlyn At Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Title: The Life O'Reilly: A Novel
Author: Brian Cohen
Pages: 266
Rating: 4.5/5
Source: Provided by the author

Summary (Author website)

On the outside, Nick O’Reilly has it all: a high-flying legal career, as a partner of an elite Wall Street law firm, and financial security, with an apartment overlooking Central Park. Having grown up in a working-class family, as far back as Nick can remember this was his dream. But at the age of thirty-six, after several years of sacrificing his personal life for professional gain, Nick has started to ponder his future and consider the mark he wants to leave on society both professionally and personally—his legacy.

After being chastised in the press for turning a cold shoulder to the community, the firm calls upon Nick to help rehabilitate its image by handling its first pro bono case. Nick is asked to represent Dawn Nelson, a domestic violence victim who is fighting for custody of her young son, Jordan. A far cry from Nick’s specialty of defending the misdeeds of Corporate America, it is up to Nick to set Dawn and Jordan on a path to a better life. But Nick gets much more than he signed on for, as Dawn forces him to reassess his life choices and, ultimately, be true to himself. Only when Nick finally realizes what is truly important in life does he face his toughest—and possibly final—challenge: a battle for his own survival.

My Thought:

I've just finished reading the book few days ago and I have to admit I'm quite reluctant to write the book's review. I have a little mixed feeling about the story and I couldn't find the word to express it. It's truly is some what a different story than I expected from the beginning when the author approached me to review his book. I read a few reviews about the book from other online sources and a couple of fellow blogger friends and they really gave good praise to the author. It makes me wonder why and when some of them comparing him to Nicholas Sparks, I know that I have to read this book.

When I'm about to read the book, yes, I really have this "this is Nicholas Sparks' book aura" feeling. Little did I know, it really was nothing like Nicholas Sparks. It was way better than that. I like all the heart-gripping, tear-jerking and heartfelt feeling in Nicholas Sparks books, but Brian Cohen's is an unexpected distinct warm feeling that lingers longer not only in your heart but also in your mind. I felt like I have to be strong to face any obstacles in life and I keep cheering in silence for Nick and hoping that everything will be okay. I think it's because Nick O'Reilly's character is so real and believable. Every words about the character seems so honest and so true which makes me wonder if the story is based on a true story.

The story is all about Nick O'Reilly and his life to begin with. He has everything, promising career, big paycheck, a partner of a well-known firm, you name it. Everything seems so perfect until he realizes he misses so much of other things when he represents a pro bono, domestic violence case of Dawn Nelson and her son. Half of the books literally about the case and his feeling towards his client and half to the end is about how he makes it through to gain what he thinks he has lost before by fulfilling each day with better way to enjoy it. At first, I thought it would be like a thriller (seems like any story involved with lawyers ends up that way). However, it has a little bit of thrill, suspense and mystery about his life which keep me guessing and can't wait to keep turning the page as soon as possible. And one thing I like most; I can't even predict what would have happened, I never see it's coming!

The Life O'Reilly is very well-written, compelling, beautifully told and left such a warm feeling at the end of the story which I really like. I'm really lucky to read this as it left me thinking about my own life path that I've chosen till this day. You know, when you think you have and follow everything according to the plan, without even think in a blink about the possibilities that you might have something you've missed along the way until you're standing at where you're standing now. It gives me more than I what need rather than a light read because it serves everything for you to think about love, sadness, sharing, giving and most important of how to enjoy life that we have now. It some kind of a motivation for me. I was amazed reading the book, and still am. I think I have found another great author as good as Nicholas Sparks!

Disclaimer: I received a review copy courtesy of Author Brian Cohen in exchange for a fair review. Receiving a copy in no way will ever reflected my review and these are my honest review.


  1. Lovely review, fair and honest.
    It made me want to read the book even though it might not have been up your alley.

  2. I have also read multiple reviews on this book and remember saying to myself: I need to read this. Your review definitely strengthen that feelings and am certain that I'll be reading this book as soon as I get the chance.

  3. I never thought to myself "This remind me of Nicholas Sparks" either. It WAS much better, more real and true ... I also felt good at the end of the book, even though it's a sad ending, because Nick finally was living a wonderful, fulfilling life. Thanks for the review!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

  4. It sounds like you could really relate to Nick. Great review!

  5. Nice review. I liked this book, it felt true, and so sad too :(

  6. thanks for the thoughtful review, Darlyn!! i'm sorry you didn't like it more though.

  7. I hope to find this book and read it one day. I'm no where near as successful as him but I have made some choices that somewhat capped the limit I'd go in the name of professional or career gains. I could be earning more but I chose not to. I chose a life that enables me to do what I like and that will agree with my personal values. And I will make those choices again if I ever need to. I have a feeling I'm going to love this book.

  8. The book sounds like it could make anyone pause to take at look at the choices we make in life. A very lovely review!

  9. Entertaining and thought-provoking, sounds like a good mix.

  10. An honest and fair review - the author can ask for nothing more. Many thanks for your opinions.

  11. Great review! I have this book sitting in my room. Now, I can't wait to read it!

  12. Great!! I love this review. Thanks for telling this so that I know there is yet another awesome book to be read!!

  13. Great review :) It's so hard to write reviews when one is torn. You did an awesome job.

  14. I haven't read this book, but anything having to do with really looking closely at your life and assessing your decisions, must be an emotional ride.

    I think Nick's character must seem so believable because a lot of people, maybe even the majority of us, have our priorities all mixed up.

    It sounds like a great book. Thanks so much for the review! XD

  15. Thanks for the review. I'm interested enough to check it out.


Thanks for the comments! XOXO ;p


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