Book Review: The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

Posted February 20, 2015 by love2dazzle in Fiction, Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Crown Publishing Group, Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: The Divorce Papers by Susan RiegerThe Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger
Published by Crown Publishing Group on March 18th 2014
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction, Humorous, Literary
Pages: 496
Format: Paperback
Source: Crown Publishing Group, Penguin Random House
Buy on Amazon

Sparkling and sophisticated, this sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking debut novel tells the story of a 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 trapped behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one week, with all the big partners out of town, Sophie is stuck handling 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. Mia is now locked and loaded to fight her eminent and ambitious husband, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Oncology at Mather Medical School, for custody of their ten-year-old daughter Jane. Mia 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. The way she sees it, it’s her first divorce, too. For Sophie, the whole affair will spark a hard look at her own relationships—with her parents, colleagues, friends, lovers, and, most important, herself.   A rich, layered novel told entirely through personal correspondence, office memos, e-mails, articles, handwritten notes, and legal documents, The Divorce Papers offers a direct window into the lives of an entertaining cast of characters never shy about speaking their minds. Original and captivating, Susan Rieger’s brilliantly conceived and expertly crafted debut races along with wit, heartache, and exceptional comedic timing, as it explores the complicated family dynamic that results when marriage fails—as well as the ever-present risks and coveted rewards of that thing called love.From the Hardcover edition.

Sophie Diehl is a young criminal defense lawyer and is volunteered by a managing partner to be the lawyer for a divorcing couple. Sophie has never tried civil litigation. She has her doubts because civil law is completely different that criminal law. Now Sophie is given the task to become a successful divorce lawyer. Now Sophie is a child who had to deal with the divorce of her parents which is why she did not want to go into family and civil law.

Mia Meiklejohn is a very privileged future divorcee woman and she is humiliated when news spreads that her husband wants a divorce. So Mia hires Sophie to represent her in this divorce case mainly because she likes Sophie’s attitude. Mia’s husband Daniel Dukheim has decided to hire a lawyer that has a thuggish personality which makes the whole process take a whole lot longer.

Mia is the character that is easier to get attached too because as a reader I wanted to know if she would come out of her divorce okay. I was worried for her. Even though she is a privileged person, I don’t think anyone should have to deal with a divorce especially one that comes as a surprise. I was really routing that she would make it through okay.

If you are looking for a cute chic lit story that has some romance in it, I don’t feel like this is the right story for you. I thought this was going to be a fun story about love and romance and yes obviously a divorce would be involved but I thought maybe there would be more to the story. I felt a little bored and unentertained with the story. I have to say what I liked the most was that the characters did grow a lot in this story. I feel like both Mia and Sophie learned a lot by the end of the story.

One of the hardest things with this story is the fact that it didn’t have a whole lot of a plot. There was a lot of negotiating with the lawyers but outside of that there doesn’t seem to be a plot, so I was a little disappointed with how this story went. The story is told through court documents, emails, and memeos. There isn’t any dialogue, so it makes the whole thing a little weird. I was disappointed with the story but I do love the fact that the characters grew a little by the end.


About love2dazzle

Ali Kiki is a reader, writer, reviewer, blogger, and photographer in Portland, OR. An avid reader since childhood, you can usually find her devouring a book or stalking the bookstagram hashtag in her lovely apartment surrounded by books. Ali has been blogging since 2006 and she created Dazzled by Books in 2012. Her most recent adventure is making bookish candles for Stub Tail Candle Co., which are sold on Etsy.

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