Since 2015 started I have had a pile of books next to my bed ready to be flipped through. My lack of spare time lately has made it difficult to really get into any of them, but with a few upcoming work trips I will have the time to actually spend reading them. While I am sitting in my hotel room, I enjoy a more in depth novel, but on an airplane I would rather have something a bit lighter than the books I typically choose (being the random girl sobbing in the middle seat really is never fun-although I hardly ever have the middle seat, thank you A-List!) This is where The Divorce Papers comes into play. When I first opened this book I didn’t exactly know what to expect, it is unlike any book I have read before. Each page is a piece of the puzzle, including memos, emails, legal notes, etc from a divorce case. As soon as I started reading, I didn’t want to stop. If you have listened to the Serial podcast, this reminds me of it, except its about a rich couple getting a divorce, and a criminal lawyer handling it. Side note: if you have listened to Serial, don’t spoil it because I am only a few podisodes in..if you haven’t started listening…do it now!
Anyways, about The Divorce Papers. Like I said the book starts off funny, casual and intriguing, for the most part it remains similar throughout. I love reading about the wife, Mia, and how she is finding her own ground. She learns to stick up for herself, as well as the couples daughter, Jane, and she puts her foot down when needed- and sometimes when she shouldn’t slam it down as loudly as she does. The Lawyer in this case, Sophie, has never worked a civil case in her life, she normally only works criminal cases; however, Mia insisted she represent her.
At first I was fearful for Sophie, but she ends up rocking the divorce case. She handles things with no fear and shows that she will not be knocked down, even though some others in her office have little to know faith in her. This was a book about girl power, and how no female should ever be doubted. It also shows that if a female so chooses she is fine to become a housewife, it should not be a disrespected job. This part of the book I give a 9 out of 10, there are some parts that slighted me a bit, but in the end I enjoyed the banter.
One of my favorite things about this book is the relationship between Jane and her grandfather, Mia’s father. It reminded me of the relationship I have with my grandfather (minus the ugly divorce and millions of dollars), I loved their interactions. Jane sent a few letters to her grandfather and they were very sweet and profound for an 11 year old. I also loved that her favorite color was purple.
There were two parts of the book that I didn’t enjoy. First, was the odd mention of Sophie’s dad. Her parents got a divorce when she was younger, and she held that against her dad even though it is over a decade since the marriage was dissolved and all other parties have moved on. Each portion of communication of her father seemed very forced, I almost wanted to skip over those pages completely because I found no relevance to the rest of the book.
The second part I did not enjoy was the continuous repetitiveness of some legal documents. I loved how previous trials were included and used when developing the agreements and negotiations, but when one was outlined word for word, it did not need to be summarized into a few paragraphs two pages later. I understand this is how a normal court case would probably go, but as a reader, I got it the first time.
Besides those two portions of the book, I would overall give it a 7 out of 10. I did enjoy it for the most part, and read the book in a few sittings.
“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.”– Blogging For Books
In the end, this book had me laughing, deep in thought and intrigued. For the most part Susan Rieger did a wonderful job with her first book and I hope she is able to keep it up!
Has anybody else read The Divorce Papers? What did you think?
*I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my review. Of course all opinions are my own*