Why you must read Adrianne Noel’s The Year After
After her overbearing mother’s sudden death, young English professor Maddie finds her world turned upside down when she leaves New York City for her family’s home in the Colorado mountains. She plans to stay only a few weeks, but, then again, she never expects to find her father posting his profile on singles websites or her sister planning a wedding worthy of a bridal magazine.
When a childhood friend shows up to her boozy thirtieth birthday party and looks at her in a way he never did in high school, Maddie jumps at the chance for a love of her own. But when her new boyfriend turns into a rogue worthy of a Victorian novel, Maddie finds consolation in her friendship with the maverick sculptor Jackson. She determines not to fall for him, even though her eccentric aunts remind her that she’s the only one not getting married.
As Maddie adopts the unlikely role of maid-of-honor to both her sister and soon-to-be stepmother, she discovers that she still lives under her mother’s shadow. Only by confronting the past and her mother’s memory can she embrace love and the family she’s always wanted.
Nice setup. This is obviously a romance novel, right?
Does that mean it appeals to a different demographic?
If you like Barbara O’Neal (How to Bake a Perfect Life), Kristin Hannah (Firefly Lane), or Karen White (Sea Change), you’ll love my book. If we are talking movies, the story is a cross between Catch and Release (Jennifer Garner as the Colorado girl-next-door) and The Family Stone (a quirky family dealing with a mother’s illness and death).
Tell us about the emotional journey Maddie goes on in this novel.
The novel is loosely based on my own experience of losing my mother to cancer. I wanted to capture the feeling of loss that coincides with the humor of a dysfunctional family trying to get on its feet again. It started out as a memoir, but I found myself adding fictional scenes—and my writing group discovered that they enjoyed reading the fictional parts better than the biographical ones. I ended up throwing out most of the biographical elements and fictionalizing the story.
So is there much of you left in the Maddie we meet on the pages?
Did you get your happily ever after? What is your life like now?
Have you written any other books?
How much can you tell us about it?
We should wrap up this interview so you can get on with it.
How easily do new storylines come to you? If we give you four random words – Man, Woman, Mexico, Future – can you give us a brief storyline?