The Divorce Papers (Susan Rieger, 2014)

divorce papers

Why did you choose this book?

I remember seeing it highly recommended either on Amazon or LibraryReads when it was first published.  I was tidying the stacks of our fiction section one night and on impulse decided it was time to read it.

What’s it about?

Sophie Diehl is a successful criminal lawyer living in Narragansett (here used as a fictional state).  Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim and her husband Daniel are getting divorced.  When all of the divorce lawyers are occupied, Sophie completes the initial interview with Mia.  Mia loves Sophie’s spunk and asks that she act as the divorce attorney for the proceedings.  This plot is the majority of the book, but some sections also deal with Sophie’s personal life, conflict between Mia and Daniel, and the impact of the entire situation on their daughter, Jane.


Fiction, epistolary

Other recommended reads?

To enjoy this book, you absolutely have to be a fan of the epistolary novel (aka a novel written entirely in letters or other ephemera).  My favorite book as a tween was PS Longer Letter Later by Ann M. Martin and Paula Danziger, which was composed entirely of letters and emails.  The first adult novel that jumps into my mind is S by JJ Abrams, which I have not read, but desperately want to.

Final thoughts?

I love a good epistolary novel.  That being said, this one dealt so heavily with official legal paperwork and jargon that the going was extremely slow sometimes.  I wanted more correspondence between Sophie and the people in her personal life, and between Mia and her friends.  The most interesting part to me was probably the transcription of Jane’s psychiatric evaluation.  I guess I either wanted more variation in the types of material included, or a shorter novel.

Up next?

Hopefully, The Zhivago Affair, but it’s slow going so far.


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