Title: The Divorce Papers
Author: Susan Rieger
Genre: Realistic Fiction (unfortunately)
Style: Epistolary Novel
Synopsis: Sophie Diehl likes her job defending meth heads and murders at the Traynor, Hand Law Firm. She has no desire—or experience—to do the intake interview for the firm’s newest divorcing client, Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim. She definitely doesn’t want to take the case on for the next ten months. But when the client takes a liking to her, what else can she do? She uses these memos, emails, and legal documents to figure out how to handle someone else’s divorce…and maybe her own life too.
Characters: Sophie Diehl and Mia Meiklejohn make a kickass team as the novel’s dual protagonists. They are spirited and fiery, fighting back in any way they can. Each has their own cast of supporting characters who bring the drama, insight, and, when they need it most, love…even if it’s tough love.
Format: This story could not have been told in anything but documents, and these are heart-warming, funny, and fascinating at all the right times. Even the legal documents and inter-office memos add color to the story. (I may be biased. I LOVE epistolary novels.)
Style: Each document has a unique writing style benefitting its purpose. Among the personal correspondences, each writer has a distinct voice that provides a new perspective on what’s happening. Overall, the various pieces coalesce to show the characters growing and healing; they give us a story with life in it.
Conclusion: Susan Rieger has created something fun and bright using legal documents and the grim subject of divorce. Talk about a miracle worker. It helps that she focuses on friendships and learning to own your mistakes, while still giving us an obvious bad-guy. Emily and I have often wished for a novel for that state between young adult and adult, and this is it. At the cusp of 30, Sophie is still trying to figure out. It makes for an amazing read.