THE DIVORCE PAPERS by Susan Rieger
Kirkus Star

THE DIVORCE PAPERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A brutally comic chronicle of high-end divorce told through letters, emails and a huge pile of legal memorandums. This is the first novel from Columbia Law School graduate Rieger.

Brilliant 29-year-old Sophie Diehl is an up-and-coming criminal defense lawyer in the prestigious firm of Traynor, Hand, Wyzanski in the fictional New England state of Narraganset. Mia Durkheim, nee Meiklejohn, the daughter of one of Traynor, Hand, Wyzanski's wealthiest clients, has been served divorce papers by her husband of 18 years, pediatric oncologist Daniel. After Sophie fills in for the firm’s vacationing divorce specialist, Fiona McGregor, to take Mia’s initial interview—transcript provided—Mia decides she wants Sophia to represent her. Sophie reluctantly accepts the civil case under pressure from managing partner David Greaves. The intimacies of Mia and Daniel’s marriage are laid bare largely through Mia and Sophie’s emails and Sophie’s detailed memos to David about the case’s progress. The couple’s skirmishes are comically vicious, while the issue of custody concerning their sensitive, precocious 10-year-old daughter deepens the marital drama. As Sophie gears up to battle the sleazy New York lawyer Daniel has hired, she also must contend with Fiona’s ruffled feathers and office politics involving ethnic, class and gender issues brought to light in a flurry of interoffice memos—shades of The Good Wife. Meanwhile, Sophie’s emails to her best friend chronicle a nonstarter romance and her complicated relationships with high-achieving, eccentric parents whose divorce still troubles Sophie. Rieger pulls out every legal document connected to the case, including witness affidavits, settlement offer breakdowns and legal invoices.

Extremely clever, especially the legal infighting; this book should prove hugely popular with the legal set as well as anyone who has ever witnessed a divorce in process.

Pub Date: March 18th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8041-3744-7
Page count: 496pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2014




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