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The Real Liddy James
Cover of The Real Liddy James
The Real Liddy James
"Smart and funny . . . Liddy will resonate for readers who love strong, mature women with a bit of Irish fire, as with fans of Cecelia Ahern and Marian Keyes and Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette." —Booklist
A witty and captivating novel about a modern-day superwoman who leans in so far she falls over

Forty-four, fit, and fabulous, Liddy James is one of New York's top divorce attorneys, a bestselling author, and a mother of two. Armed with a ruthless reputation and a capsule wardrobe, she glides through the courtrooms and salons of the Manhattan elite with ease. What's her secret? Liddy will tell you: "I don't do guilt!"

This is the last thing literature professor Peter James wants to hear. Devastated by his divorce from Liddy six years earlier, the two have a tangled history his new partner, Rose, is only just sorting out. But Rose is a patient woman with faith in a well-timed miracle and she's determined to be sympathetic to Peter's plight. Together, Liddy, Peter, and Rose have formed a modern family to raise Liddy and Peter's truculent teen and Liddy's darling, if fatherless, six-year-old.

But when Rose announces she's pregnant, Liddy's nanny takes flight, the bill for a roof repair looms, and a high-profile divorce case becomes too personal, Liddy realizes her days as a guilt-free woman might be over. Following a catastrophic prime-time TV interview, she carts her sons back to Ireland to retrace their family's history. But marooned in the Celtic countryside things are still far from simple, and Liddy will have to come to terms with much more than a stormy neighbor and an unorthodox wedding if she ever hopes to rediscover the real Liddy James.
Fun, fearless, and full of heart, The Real Liddy James takes a fresh look at the balancing act every family performs. With the deft characterization and sharp wit that made her first novel an international bestseller, Anne-Marie Casey invites us into the ambitions, passions, and misadventures of this extraordinary heroine.
"Witty, clever, elegantly-written, fascinating and wise. I ADORED." —Marian Keyes, internationally bestselling author
"Whip-smart and crackling with energy . . . had me stopping nearly every page to read paragraphs out loud to anyone who would listen. A true delight!" —Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author
From the Hardcover edition.
"Smart and funny . . . Liddy will resonate for readers who love strong, mature women with a bit of Irish fire, as with fans of Cecelia Ahern and Marian Keyes and Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette." —Booklist
A witty and captivating novel about a modern-day superwoman who leans in so far she falls over

Forty-four, fit, and fabulous, Liddy James is one of New York's top divorce attorneys, a bestselling author, and a mother of two. Armed with a ruthless reputation and a capsule wardrobe, she glides through the courtrooms and salons of the Manhattan elite with ease. What's her secret? Liddy will tell you: "I don't do guilt!"

This is the last thing literature professor Peter James wants to hear. Devastated by his divorce from Liddy six years earlier, the two have a tangled history his new partner, Rose, is only just sorting out. But Rose is a patient woman with faith in a well-timed miracle and she's determined to be sympathetic to Peter's plight. Together, Liddy, Peter, and Rose have formed a modern family to raise Liddy and Peter's truculent teen and Liddy's darling, if fatherless, six-year-old.

But when Rose announces she's pregnant, Liddy's nanny takes flight, the bill for a roof repair looms, and a high-profile divorce case becomes too personal, Liddy realizes her days as a guilt-free woman might be over. Following a catastrophic prime-time TV interview, she carts her sons back to Ireland to retrace their family's history. But marooned in the Celtic countryside things are still far from simple, and Liddy will have to come to terms with much more than a stormy neighbor and an unorthodox wedding if she ever hopes to rediscover the real Liddy James.
Fun, fearless, and full of heart, The Real Liddy James takes a fresh look at the balancing act every family performs. With the deft characterization and sharp wit that made her first novel an international bestseller, Anne-Marie Casey invites us into the ambitions, passions, and misadventures of this extraordinary heroine.
"Witty, clever, elegantly-written, fascinating and wise. I ADORED." —Marian Keyes, internationally bestselling author
"Whip-smart and crackling with energy . . . had me stopping nearly every page to read paragraphs out loud to anyone who would listen. A true delight!" —Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author
From the Hardcover edition.
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover ***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof***

    Copyright © 2016 Anne-Marie Casey

    Liddy knew Mrs Vandervorst had been crying because she emerged from the corridor bathroom with her sunglasses on. There had been some confusion over timing, a not unusual occurrence during the holiday season, and Mrs Vandervorst had arrived alone, so Liddy solicitously accompanied her to the conference room and settled her into a velvet upholstered armchair with a cup of camomile tea, which she had made in a white china tea pot with loose buds, not a bag. The buds bloomed into pretty white flowers floating on the surface of the pale yellow liquid and the sight of this seemed to calm Mrs Vandervorst, who sank back into the cushions a little and sipped slowly. Liddy hoped the woman would gather herself before the meeting began. She did not want any scenes this afternoon—accusations, counter accusations, sordid marital mudslinging. Drama inevitably delays everything. She had a twice-postponed interview with the Times at four that afternoon.

    'What colour is this?' said Mrs Vandervorst, looking at the walls.

    "It's one of those fancy country house colours. Mist on the heather, it's called, or something like that."

    Mrs Vandervorst took off her sunglasses. Underneath, her eyes were stubbornly ringed white with ill-matched concealer, but the tell-tale bloodshot around her pupils remained.

    "I like it," she said, "it's very soothing."

    Liddy smiled. It was not the first such comment and she found it gratifying. Before she agreed to join Oates and Associates, in addition to the usual stock allocation, health cover for her extended family, and use of a driver on weekends, she had insisted upon a supervisory role in redecorating the offices and had been delighted that her arrival as a senior partner coincided with the expiration of the lease on the macho, marbled space on Fifth. She had found this townhouse on East 61st through a client, another forced sale after the demise of a third marriage of unseemly haste, and set about refurbishing it in the manner of a boutique hotel or luxury gite, probably one in the south of France but with American owners so the taps didn't screech like injured animals when turned on. The other partners scoffed at the discussion of a "color palate," but Curtis Oates, Founding Partner and pioneer in the new world of extreme pre-nuptial agreements (compulsory facelifts, monthly threesomes, or custody of children along gender lines no problem), had dropped into her office one evening brandishing a line drawing from the Hirst studio as a thank you.

    "Very clever, Liddy," he had said in the raspy Humphrey Bogart voice he had affected as a teenager because Leonora Mott, the object of his affection in 1971, had told him it was sexy. "You got a lotta class, kid." Liddy knew this; she had worked hard to acquire it. "Make 'em relax before we screw 'em."

    Liddy turned to Mrs Vandervorst and hoped she was relaxing, for she was certain tobe screwed.

    "Are you alright?" she asked, and meant it.

    Mrs Vandervorst looked straight at her. She had the sorrow under control now and so, left with disbelief, she kept digging the nails on her left hand into her palm hard as if she could wake herself up.

    "How do I get rid of his name?" she said, "I can't take it off like the rings."

    Liddy glanced at the enormous pink diamond on the other woman's finger and,mentally scanning through her list of Mr Vandervorst's demands, thought he wants the ring,my dear, the name he doesn't care about, because it didn't cost him anything.

    "You go back to your maiden name," she said.

    Mrs...

About the Author-
  • Anne-Marie Casey is a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright. Her film and TV scripts have been produced in the UK and Ireland and her theatrical adaptations of Little Women and Wuthering Heights enjoyed sell-out runs at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. No One Could Have Guessed the Weather, her first book, was an international bestseller. She is married to the novelist Joseph O'Connor. They live in Dublin, Ireland, with their two sons.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 17, 2016
    Casey (No One Could Have Guessed the Weather) continues to probe the complexities of 40-something women's lives in her latest novel. Liddy James is one of New York's most successful divorce lawyers. Having literally written the book on how to have a healthy divorce, Liddy maintains a cordial, even friendly, co-parenting relationship with her ex, Peter, and his new partner, Rose. But when Rose's unexpected pregnancy coincides with teenage son Matty's behavioral problems and a divorce case that hits a little too close to home, it's clear that Liddy is just one step away from a breakdown. A return to her native Ireland may be exactly what she needs to remind her what's really important. Liddy's manic success, fueled as much by fear of failure as by ambition, offers rich potential for both humor and sympathy. Readers will enjoy spending time in her tumultuous company; they may even find themselves thumbing past the excessive sections devoted to Rose's less compelling quandaries, mostly stemming from her insecurities and lack of academic motivation. Liddy repeatedly asserts that she does not, in fact, know who she really is, which gets tiresome and a bit on the nose; nevertheless, readers will be rooting for this human manifestation of drive and blind determination to stop leaning in and start breathing in. And out. Slowly.

  • AudioFile Magazine Cutthroat lawyer Liddy James leads a complicated, harried life, and she hides a mysterious past. Narrator Orlagh Cassidy confidently and sensitively unfolds the layers of Liddy's personality in this audiobook set in New York City and Ireland. Through a series of events that cause Liddy's control to unravel, the characters discover the real Liddy. Is she "The Shark," as her colleagues have dubbed her? Liddy must face her past and who she really is under the competitive facade she believe protects her. Cassidy narrates with warmth and empathy--as if she knows the characters personally. The accents she delivers for the Irish characters sound authentic. A delightful performance with rich characters. L.M.A. � AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
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