Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

The Divorce Papers - Susan Rieger

Review by Shellie of The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger.

Shellie’s quick take: A dramatic and messy high-profile divorce is told via documents which are facilitated by a twenty-something female attorney.

Shellie’s description:   Sophie Diehl is a young criminal defense lawyer who gets drawn into a high profile divorce case because the other lawyers who would normally cover family law are out of town. The wife from the wealthy couple seeking the divorce chooses Sophie even though the woman knows Sophie has no experience in family law. And the firm’s senior partner keeps Sophie on the case because the divorcing wife is the daughter of a favored and major client for the firm.

Told through emails, legal documents, personal correspondence, office memos, articles, and notes, the messy divorce, internal office politics, romantic entanglements and the main character’s personal growth dramatically unfolds.

Shellie’s thoughts:   This is one of those intellectual chic-lit books which was very compelling for me because I love epistolary novels and enjoy legal aspects in my fiction reads. This may be a problem for some readers since the book is in part told via a number of legal documents, which for some may become tedious and boring. For me, contrarily, it was a book that I found difficult to put down (even including the legal documents) and I devoured it in a few sittings.

It gets predictably messy between the divorcing wife and the husband, with egos and revenge working in the emotional soup from the fall-out of the break up and the fight for legal custody of their daughter. It’s one of those stories that features a train-wreck-and-I-can’t-look-away aspect for the reader. But what becomes a key theme for the story is the internal workings inside the main character’s mind as she works on the case. She begins to question her own relationships and experiences growth in unexpected ways. This gives the book its traditional chic-lit connection.

A fun read although I am not normally a chic-lit reader. I would imagine that the book is not going to be enjoyed by many typical readers of the genre. And from looking at the reviews available for the book it looks like it’s a book that the reader either really liked or hated. I am from the former camp, it was a 3.5 star read for me. I liked it a lot.

Crown/Random House | March 18, 2014 | Pages: 480 | ARC ebook via Edelweiss


Danni Mae said...

This book sounds great! Personally, I don't think I'd have a problem with the documents being the main narrator. When I was young, I read a book series told entirely in texts, and although that's pretty different, I think it would actually have less to offer than the documents.

Unknown said...

Hi Danielle -
You should give this one a go then. It's fun to try different things. I think the novel that you read written via texts would qualify as epistolary too.

If you enjoy this type of novel (epistolary) then you can look for more like it. I think there are a ton of them out there. I bet Goodreads has one of those lists including them.

If you read it let me know what you think.

Linda said...

I liked this one. It was fun. I liked how it was told through documents.

Unknown said...

Hi Linda -
Good to hear from you!

Yep I loved the documents.. even the legal ones dividing property and what not... but then I read the ARC edition. Perhaps they changed it in the printed version?

I have only read a few epistolary novels and I've like them all... from what I can remember. I think Dracula was one????

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