Publisher's Note:  

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.

The Divorce Papers: A Novel

by Susan Rieger

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Overall Review:  

I'll admit, the first time I read a write-up about The Divorce Papers I immediately told myself I would not read it. Divorce? A novel written in chapters of scattered emails and letters between lawyers and couples? Nope, not for me. And yet somehow this book crept onto my "to-read" list. And then it sat there taunting me to pick it up. So I did. While I can't say I am wholly disappointed in this book, I will admit it was exactly what I had thought it would be. The story wasn't really deep, or engaging in any way. I didn't make friends or fall in love with any of the characters. Something just seemed to be missing, though I am not sure what.


I can't really suggest a similar book for comparison. I am sure it is liked by many people out there; I am probably in the minority. It seems like everything I read about it is positive. Maybe I need to go through a divorce myself to fully appreciate this book. (I hope I never have to.) I think if I were going through a divorce, this book might be comforting, or at least something I could laugh at. It was funny in its own way--the author does have a sense of humor and knows how to use it. Be warned that this book contains quite a few characters, and they each take turns narrating their own chapters. This became a little confusing at times, but I was still able to keep a pretty good handle on the story and what was happening. If you are intrigued, then I encourage you to pick up this book--whether it be from a bookstore, a friend, or a library--and read it. Who knows, it may fit your style to a T!

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  2 religious exclamations; 8 mild obscenities; 1 derogatory name; 2 scatological words; 8 anatomical terms; 5 F-word derivatives.


Violence/Gore:  A character contemplates suicide.


Sex/Nudity:  Adults kiss; adults touch each other tenderly; adults have a mature discussion regarding sex; a woman mentions an abortion, no detail is provided; adultery is mentioned multiple times; a wife suspects her husband is having an affair.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Divorce, adultery

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adults drink frequently.

Reviewed By Lydia
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