The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'll preface this by saying that I'm giving this 4 stars within its genre, which is, to say, something I rarely (if ever) read: chick lit. Ordinarily, I would even give a book like this a second glance, given that it's not only part of a genre I never read, it's also written in a style I usually dislike: epistolary. However, I received this book as an ARC and needed something light to follow up my last book, so I decided to give it the old 50-page try.
The topic itself--divorce--rendered from a lawyer's perspective, along with Rieger's expert knowledge and ability to convey that knowledge are what drew me into this story and kept me reading. Blessedly, I know virtually nothing about divorce, and so even just for purely educational reasons, I was interested in the topic. That being said, I'd never in a million years pick up a law book. Rieger skillfully interweaves the technical jargon and documents in between casual memos, emails, and notes between characters so that I did feel like I was learning something, but I was also somewhat invested in the characters, as well.
The book should have ended earlier than it did--as most books should. Sophie's personal love life should have had a more satisfying arc (why couldn't she have ended up with David? I guess he was a bit too fatherly....) and some of the subplots felt a bit too tangential (e.g. Sohpie's terror that her mother was having an affair with David, her boss). But, all in all, I did read straight through to the end, with a good deal of amusement no less. (I love Mia Meiklejohn. I wish I could go out to dinner with her and just listen to her talk.)
I honestly didn't believe semi-educational chick lit existed. And now I've been proven wrong. If Rieger will promise a more satisfying love story as part of her next book, I'll read it gladly.
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