The Divorce Papers: A Novel by: Susan Rieger (Tomorrow: March 18, 2014)
Source: I received a free ARC from Netgalley and The Publisher for an honest review. Thanks!
The Divorce Papers is on the longer side at 480 pages and takes a sort of determination to read it all the way through. It wasn’t a bad read; it was just a long one.
This book is full of dynamic characters, but keeping track of who is who is a challenge during the first handful of pages. I love that this book is told completely through letters, memos, emails, legal papers, and articles, but this aspect also makes it harder for readers to connect and get to know the characters at first and tell them apart. The main character, Sophie, is a complicated young woman whose rambling emails always gave me a chuckle. The divorce she is handling becomes intense, Sophie is handling the wife’s affairs. Sophie’s family, friends, and co-workers all make fun appearances. My favorite is when we finally get an insight on how the child involved in the divorce is feeling near the end of the novel through a psychiatrist report, bringing out all kinds of emotions in me.
Like I mentioned earlier The Divorce Papers’ main source of storytelling is through legal documents. I did enjoy getting an inside peek at the legal side of a divorce, (it is intense), but I also found that after a while the documents became a little repetitive and sometimes just a little over my head with all the legal jargon. The beginning of the book starts out very strong and had my interest, but my attention started to wean about half way through and I wasn't fully engaged again until I was nearing the end. The middle was just a little slow and a little rough to read with all of those legal documents. I enjoyed the emails and handwritten letters more.
Overall, The Divorces Papers was a fun read that pulled on my heart strings and made me realize that I never want a divorce. (Not that I thought I wanted one before, but you know what I mean.) This book probably isn’t for everyone, especially considering its length, but I know there are people out there that would enjoy reading Sophie’s story and the emotional and legal ramifications of not only the couple divorcing, but the person handling their account, the firm, and the couple’s child, among others. The Divorce Papers is a unique novel, to say the least.