"Readers should have a box of Kleenex handy when they read this book. It is emotional, to say the least .... [The Life O'Reilly] is a heartwarming tale of discovering life, love, and legacy ... a love story filled with drama and emotions. There are plenty of shocking events which make this a page-turner and a very sentimental novel."
“[A] riveting and deeply emotional work. The Life O’Reilly keeps the reader turning the pages as author Cohen displays a vivid touch with the everyday details of working life.”
—Nashville Book Festival
“Brian Cohen clearly has the gift of story in this riveting debut. His ability to plumb the depths of the human heart, and its capacity to change—forged in a modern, gritty, yet sophisticated New York—shines through in this estimable work. The mark of a great novel is one that is impossible to put down on its final page. Cohen’s book reaches that bar.”
—New York Times bestselling author
Michael Christopher Carroll
"The Life O'Reilly is a fascinating read that will warm hearts."
—Midwest Book Review
"...this is the way life should be lived. To be able to stop at any moment and say, I am proud of and very much at peace with who I am."
Brian Cohen's first novel is an affecting and haunting story that captures the attention of the reader and holds it throughout, lingering long after the final page is turned....
Cohen has a fluidic writing style. His story is well paced and his characters have dimension and distinctive personalities. It is inspiring to watch Nick's heroic battle for survival as he evolves into the kind of man (and life) that will leave a lasting and impressionable legacy.
It is not often that a work of fiction leaves the reader contemplating his or her personal outlook on life. The trials that Nick endures are easily applicable to reality. His story gives us pause to think, leaving us grateful for having made Nick's acquaintance.
—The US Review of Books
At once a bittersweet love story and a young lawyer’s journey of self-discovery, this auspicious debut delivers an emotional wallop and will move readers in unexpected ways.
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.
Exploring the flaws of being human and the importance of controlling one’s own destiny, The Life O’Reilly reminds us of how precious life is and how quickly and tragically it can change. Written with great empathy, The Life O’Reilly is an emotional and unforgettable tale that will challenge one’s expectations of the modern love story and introduces a poignant and sensitive new voice in fiction.