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The Divorce Papers

by

The Divorce Papers Cover

ISBN13: 9780804137447
ISBN10: 0804137447
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Witty and wonderful, sparkling and sophisticated, this debut romantic comedy brilliantly tells the story of one very messy, very high-profile divorce, and the endearingly cynical young lawyer dragooned into handling it.

 

Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old line New England firm where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one weekend, with all the big partners away, Sophie must handle the intake interview for the daughter of the firm’s most important client. After eighteen years of marriage, Mayflower descendant Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim has just been served divorce papers in a humiliating scene at the popular local restaurant, Golightly’s. She is locked and loaded to fight her eminent and ambitious husband, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Oncology, for custody of their ten-year-old daughter Jane—and she also burns to take him down a peg. Sophie warns Mia that she’s never handled a divorce case before, but Mia can’t be put off. As she so disarmingly puts it: It’s her first divorce, too.

Debut novelist Susan Rieger doesn’t leave a word out of place in this hilarious and expertly crafted debut that shines with the power and pleasure of storytelling. Told through personal correspondence, office memos, emails, articles, and legal papers, this playful reinvention of the epistolary form races along with humor and heartache, exploring the complicated family dynamic that results when marriage fails. For Sophie, the whole affair sparks a hard look at her own relationships—not only with her parents, but with colleagues, friends, lovers, and most importantly, herself. Much like Where’d You Go, Bernadette, The Divorce Papers will have you laughing aloud and thanking the literature gods for this incredible, fresh new voice in fiction.

About the Author

SUSAN RIEGER is a graduate of Columbia Law School. She has worked as a residential college dean at Yale and an associate provost at Columbia. She has taught law to undergraduates at both schools and written frequently about the law for newspapers and magazines. She lives in New York City with her husband. The Divorce Papers is her first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Shannon Geiger, May 19, 2014 (view all comments by Shannon Geiger)
I loved this book. It is about a criminal defense attorney who gets roped into doing a divorce. The uniqueness is the book is told in the epistolary style. It is made up of letters, memoranda, legal pleadings, case law and emails. Despite the variety of documents included, the story is well told and easy to follow. I highly recommend this book.
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SAH, February 3, 2014 (view all comments by SAH)
“Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old line New England firm where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one weekend, with all the big partners away, Sophie must handle the intake interview for the daughter of the firm’s most important client. After eighteen years of marriage, Mayflower descendant Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim has just been served divorce papers in a humiliating scene at the popular local restaurant, Golightly’s. She is locked and loaded to fight her eminent and ambitious husband, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Oncology, for custody of their ten-year-old daughter Jane�"and she also burns to take him down a peg. Sophie warns Mia that she’s never handled a divorce case before, but Mia can’t be put off. As she so disarmingly puts it: It’s her first divorce, too.”

I received The Divorce Papers from Crown Publishing as an Advance Read and overall, I enjoyed it.
While the epistolary novel is not a new idea, author Susan Rieger brought it up to date with emails and topical references in an easy to read manner that propelled the story line fluidly. Utilizing this medium, Rieger introduces us to Sophie, the aforementioned attorney; her life, loves, fears, and workplace drama through this correspondence while employing the backdrop of an increasingly acrimonious divorce case to illustrate and personify her characters.
Several story lines are interwoven as threads throughout the divorce case; through Sophie’s correspondence with its principal players we see the effect the case has on Sophie both personally and professionally. Sophie’s relationship with her parents and the effect their divorce had on her is paralleled nicely as she works on the divorce and her love life is adequately portrayed through her communication with her dearest friend.
The novel is riddled with legal documentation; while its inclusion acknowledges the readers ability to read it, it doesn’t take into consideration that many people didn’t choose to go into law for a reason- they don’t find it interesting. Where a synopsis of quoted case law would do, the reader was faced with pages and pages of ancillary, unnecessary info- we get it- it’s a lawsuit and the author studied law. I skimmed over the majority of the settlement paperwork as tedious and frankly unnecessary- I don’t read novels to look at balance sheets. I understand that they are an integral part of a divorce case but feel that somehow they could have been trimmed down or presented differently.
I woudn’t really describe the book as humorous per se, but there were some amusing passages and I liked the characters I was supposed to like. I felt that both Sophie and the defendant in the divorce case, Mia, were dynamically round characters who rather reminded me of people I knew in real life.
While The Divorce Papers was engaging, and entertaining it had the potential to be a truly funny, gutsy novel if it just had a little more, I don’t know, oomph?
Having said that, overall I liked the book for what it was- a relatively quick, amusing and pleasant read ( despite i'ts size) and I have a feeling that despite any short comings I felt it had it’s going to get a lot of hype.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780804137447
Author:
Rieger, Susan
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Subject:
Literature-Contemporary Women
Subject:
fiction;divorce;epistolary;family
Subject:
fiction;divorce;epistolary;family;lawyers
Subject:
fiction;divorce;epistolary;lawyers;family;marriage
Publication Date:
20140331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
9.54 x 6.4 x 1.52 in 1.56 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women

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