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After Happily Ever After

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Maggie Dolan finds herself at forty-five at a crossroads in her life. Once a high-level executive, she’s chosen to be a stay-at-home mom for the last seventeen years. But now with her daughter, Gia, soon leaving for college, and her husband, disconnected and with secrets he hasn’t shared, Maggie decides it’s time to figure out what she wants for the rest of her life. As sh ...more
Paperback, 263 pages
Published April 6th 2021 by SheWrites Press
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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An accurate description of like as the family grows and moves on. The second act in a family and how we address it.
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Heartfelt. Poignant. Moving. And when you least expect it: Laugh-out-loud funny! So many witty lines.

I loved this book so much. I became immediately attached to the characters and hungry to find out what they were going to do next. Leslie Rasmussen captures the essence of a family—and all the ways we can turn ourselves upside down to figure things out in a complicated world.
The charm of these characters will remain with you long after.
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Debut has never looked or read so good! I loved this one with its laugh out loud story and unforgettable characters. This one will having you laughing and having fun as you turn each page. I loved how I could relate to the characters so much. It was like this book was written just for me and my life.
This Feral Housewife
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! It was such a deep look at one family and how life, time and choice shapes each person. It was so well done.
Mary Camarillo
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Leslie Rasmussen’s debut novel is laugh out loud funny but also full of social commentary on ageism, friendship and family. It captures a resilient woman juggling parental and daughter obligations as so many women are these days.
Chandra Sundeep
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It’s such a wonderfully hilarious and sensitive book, it’s hard to believe it’s a debut.

Empty nest syndrome affects thousands of parents each year. It’s not a disorder, but a combination of loneliness and grief when your children leave home. As a mother whose daughter is about to leave for college (not right away, there’ still time! But I’m bracing myself for the eventuality) I could identify a lot with Maggie Dolin, the main protagonist.

The author, Leslie Rasmussen, sums her book up perfectly
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
I still can't believe that this is a debut novel.

I fell utterly in love with Maggie , she is just endearing and throughout the book I rooted for her wholeheartedly. I can see so many of my own female family members in her and perhaps that's why I resonated with her so much.

Maggie feels like she is going through the motions ; her daughter Gia is preparing to leave for college and well her marriage to Jim is pretty much stale. Maggie finds herself questioning who and what is she going to become o
Bill Davis
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. I couldn’t put it down. The journey the author takes you on is rich and real, full of laughter and so very poignant. The characters stay with you long after you’ve put the book down. A beautiful and rewarding book.
Robyn Beck
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Everything about this book is a pure example of good writing and phenomenal storytelling. While reading it, I was practically sucked into the main character, Maggie's world as the prose allows you to truly know her and feel her emotions. It's an absolute rollercoaster of emotions contained within a well-written and grounded story about real people and the problems they face in life. I can't recommend this book enough and I can't wait to read it again and again. ...more
Jill Campbell
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
After Happily Ever After by Leslie A. Rasmussen is the type of book where you feel like you have known the characters your whole life. The protagonist is so relatable- she takes you on her journey with her. At times I laughed out loud, and at times I cried. You know you have read a great book when you have finished it, and you find yourself missing the character like you would a dear friend.
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Can't believe this is a first novel. It is so professional. Really loved this book. It is wonderful to be able to laugh when you are reading. Maggie is so like many young women today who have realized they need so much more in their lives while still young enough to be happy and full filled as a woman. Highly recommend.
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
AHEA makes you laugh, touches your soul and definitely leaves you wanting more. Hoping that there is a sequel in the future!
Kathy Gereau
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Maggie is in a stale marriage with a man who, in her opinion, is keeping deep dark secrets from her. Her life is further complicated by a teenage daughter at odds with everything her mother says or does, and a father with dementia who can no longer stay in his home. Meanwhile, Maggie fantasizes about having an affair with Michael, a much younger man she meets at the gym. Disappointments lead her to reevaluate her life, discover her strengths and address her weaknesses. After Happily Ever After i ...more
Apr 03, 2021 rated it really liked it

Leslie Rasmussen far exceeded my expectations with her debut novel. This story included many ups and downs, laughter, quirkiness, drama, and close-to-home storylines that make the reader feel as though her story is a little to familiar to their own.

While I loved "After Happily Ever After," I will admit that it was slow in the start. I continually picked it up, only to put it back down and let it rest for a while. Perhaps the format of my ARC, or the actual storyline, but regardless, I
Sophia Dyer • bookishly.vintage
Apr 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sophia Dyer by: Booksparks
I received a copy of this book from Booksparks as part of their Spring Bookscope, thank you! All opinions are my own.


Just wow

Like...that is all I could think of while reading this book, it was absolutely insane! It is definitely one of those stories where you think it cannot get worse, and then it does. But like, in a good way. This book was entertaining from start to finish, and I was pulled in from the very first page. I do not want to say too much for fear of spoiling the book, but there a
Apr 08, 2021 rated it really liked it

Maggie’s life is a struggle right now. She is dealing with her teenage daughter who will be going to college soon. The thought of her leaving and Maggie’s whole world changing with nothing for her to do anymore is weighing heavy on her right now. She is contemplating going back to work but is that even possible since she has been out of the workforce for so long. Is she now irrelevant.

Her husband is distant lately and she is wondering why doesn’t seem to be interested in her anymore
Suzy Baba (readaholicmom)
After reading the Synopsis I couldn't wait to dive into After Happily Ever After. The story of Maggie Dolan, a 45 year old women who has given up her career as an editor 17 years ago to be a stay at home mom for her baby girl. Now that her daughter in grown, Maggie feels as if she's not needed anymore. On top of that, her relationship with her husband has been a struggle for the past years. Maggie is feeling lost, lonely, neglected and unloved!

I could relate on so many levels with this story. I
Mar 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
PLOT- Maggie Dolin, 45, gave up her job as an editor with a publishing house to raise her daughter who now 17, will go off to college. The only think Maggie knows and has been doing is taking care of everyone, from picking up and cleaning her daughter’s room everyday to finding misplaced things for her husband who has been neglecting her too taking care of her ailing father. She is feeling out of sorts when she meets a you
Mar 26, 2021 rated it liked it
In After Happily Ever After, Maggie is the quintessential sandwich generation caregiver. She is a SATM who takes care of her daughter, Gia, who is about to go to college, as well as her father, who is in an assisted living facility.

Maggie is struggling to find purpose in her life as she contemplates being an empty nester, and she has so many self-hating thoughts about how she's boring and insignificant. Maggie's husband, Jim, is also struggling with unhappiness in his career as a psychologist,
Janet Fiorentino
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
I requested to read this book because I was hooked by the title. Women focus so much on the marriage and the kids that it is difficult to believe that you can have all of you have dreamed of, but still yearn for something more. “After Happily Ever After” is the story of Maggie Dolin who faces midlife and a multiple of crises.

Maggie Dolin has a lot going on in her life. Her teenage daughter, Gia, is gearing up for college while her dad, whom she shared a poignant relationship with, is in an assi
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Maggie Dolin is a dues paying member of the Sandwich Generation. She’s caught between the needs of her teenage daughter, Gia and those of her aging parents. Gia is about to leave for college and Maggie is anxious about becoming an empty nester. She and her mother have a distant, prickly relationship that makes daily calls bothersome. Her father, whom she is very close to, has Parkinson’s and is in an assisted living facility. Her day careens from the early morning calls from her mother to making ...more
Apr 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
After Happily Ever After by Leslie A. Rasmussen. Thanks to @booksparks and @shewritespress for the gifted copy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Maggie’s daughter is close to leaving the home for college and her husband is disconnected. She is frightened of how lonely her future seems. When she meets a younger man at the gym, she starts a flirtation.

I love books where I get a glimpse into other people’s households. I have two boys and I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that I won’t have a daughter. So the mo
Carolyn Lee
Mar 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Lost middle-aged woman saves herself!
Leslie Rasmussen has written a warm-hearted, instantly recognizable story for married women who find themselves wondering what to do when the child they gave up their career for is about to leave for college and their husband is growing more distant. Throw in the joys and agonies of caring for elderly parents and an inappropriate attraction, and just about all women over 40 can find something to relate to in this poignant and enjoyable tale. Even as a never-
Apr 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Maggie. Maggie's daughter Gia is heading to college soon and for the first time Maggie isn't sure of her place in the world. She left a publishing job to raise Gia, and she misses the work and deadlines and having someone notice her for more than grocery shopping and laundry. On top of this, she's also dealing with a husband who seems to have lost interest in her, parents whose health is falling apart, and loneliness she can't seem to fill.

Enter Michael from the gym. Young
Kirsten Childe
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Not my normal style of book, but the description really interested me, and I read it in just 2 sittings!

Maggie Dolin is in her mid forties and facing the reality of the empty nest, when her daughter will go off to college. This book is set about 6 months before that actually happens, but the realisation of what it will mean is already causing Maggie to try and understand what her role will be once Gia leaves the family home. Maggie gave up her career to be a stay at home mother, so the business
Keira S
Mar 20, 2021 rated it liked it
First of all, Congratulations to Leslie on her debut novel, and cannot wait to read more of her work in the future.

Even though I thought it was a decent read, I am torn by the way it ended. Some scenes ended abruptly and it all felt like a narration. There were a few shifts in perspective which I thought wasn't required since this was Maggie's journey, not Jim's or her father's.

Sure, I was in tears when parts of her father's perspective came in place. It was all very touching. I wish if their
Sheri P
Mar 28, 2021 rated it liked it
There were some good points in the book, but overall this book was just okay. I would give it 2.5 stars, I rounded up to three because towards the end there was a particularly moving scene that had me tearing up. Many reviewers billed this story as laugh out loud, but I din't have that experience.
I tend to like books about relationships, friendships and personal growth which is what drew me to request this book from NetGalley. This book tried to be that, but for me didn't quite accomplish its g
Mar 22, 2021 rated it liked it
I really liked the concept of this book, it felt relevant to me, I’m a stay at home mom and my girls will eventually need me less, and I wonder what I’ll do then.
However I’m only giving it 3 stars, there was a lot going on, and some parts were just rushed and disjointed from the rest of the story. Michael’s arc in particular came with very little warning, I would have liked more hints. And the father’s decline was also weirdly fast. The relationships between characters were just not developed en
Darcia Helle
I love that this book addresses the question of what happens after the “happily ever after,” when we settle in, years pass, and the relationship becomes more friendship than passion.

Rasmussen addresses a lot in this short novel, from a woman’s self-image to relationship dynamics to aging parents and death. The cover and synopsis had me expecting something light, and while the story absolutely gave me a few giggles, it also has many contemplative and sad moments. This is the kind of novel that le
Shreshtha Mehta (intriguedonlybybooks)
The story of After Happily Ever After revolves around Maggie who is 45 year-old. She gave up on her job as an editor so that she could raise her daughter. Now that her daughter has turned 17 and is preparing to go to a college, Maggie wonders how her life would be and who she will become once her daughter will leave.

On the whole I enjoyed the story line and as far as the characters are concerned, I could totally relate to Maggie. It’s hard to believe that it’s a debut novel because I could not p
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Leslie Rasmussen was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated with a bachelors from UCLA in Communications and went on to become a member of The Writers Guild of the West and write television comedies and is a member of Writers’ Guild of America, West. She wrote for Gerald McRaney, Burt Reynolds, Roseanne Barr, Norm McDonald, Drew Carey, and Ralph Macchio as well as The Wild Thorn ...more

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