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The Divorce Papers

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  7,048 ratings  ·  1,289 reviews
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 behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one weekend, with all the big partners away, Sophie must handle the intake interview for the daughter of the firm’s ...more
Hardcover, 465 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Crown
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Samara guess you've never been divorced...…moreguess you've never been divorced...(less)
Michele I liked how the legal documents presented a more complete picture of what divorce entails (granted, on a very light-hearted, quasi-chick lit level). I…moreI liked how the legal documents presented a more complete picture of what divorce entails (granted, on a very light-hearted, quasi-chick lit level). I didn't read the legal documents word-for-word in most cases, but the laws were always helpfully highlighted so I only read the relevant passages. I felt the legal documents set an effective tone and gave the novel some atmosphere, but the real substance of the story was in the personal correspondence, the memos and emails.(less)

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Apr 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, read-2014
This book started off really good...and then I think I fell asleep.

Two WASP's are getting a divorce and I really liked the Mrs. at first. The book is in the form of emails, correspondance, letters and that kind of crud. I lost interest when way too many legal documents got added in. I can see where the author wanted to go with it. I just could not take it. I did not care how much money these dumbasses had anymore. Borrringgg.
I had enough court room time in the last year to do me a lifetime.
Oct 13, 2013 marked it as dnf
Shelves: epistolary
DNF @ pg. 175

Debut novelist Susan Rieger doesn’t leave a word out of place in this hilarious and expertly crafted debut that shines with the power and pleasure of storytelling.

Uh, bullshit. This is far from hilarious. And far from storytelling. And before you interrupt with 'epistolary IS storytelling' you're right, IT CAN BE because I love me an epistolary novel and that is actually the sole reason I picked this up but this is a series of e-mails, court documents, legal memorandums, deposit
The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger is a 2014 Crown publication.

I don’t know how this book ended up on my radar, but somewhere along the way I stumbled across it and immediately checked it out of the library without first checking to see what the reviews were like. Well, now that I’ve muddled through this overlong quagmire of legalese and correspondence, I see it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

First of all, I love it when an author takes big risks, even if they don’t exactly work out. In this case, the
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Oct 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2013, arcs
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Edit: I never would have guessed I'd "bump" a 1 Star review, but if Goodreads is going to advertise this sucker then I'm going to save you all the misery of reading it. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!

Sophie is a criminal law associate at a small New England firm who gets roped in to interviewing a potential high-profile divorce client when no one else is available. Sophie impresses the client at the initial meeting so much that she is draf
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: debut
I knew there was good buzz about The Divorce Papers but didn't think I'd get to it anytime soon. Wrong. There is was sitting on our library shelf and I just couldn't resist.

As I started this story of a messy divorce told in correspondence I was thinking "Oh brother, another book with a gimmick. Can't anyone just tell the story these days without resorting to quirky angles?" But as I continued I found myself caught up in the plot and characters and eventually applauding Susan Rieger for this app
Lewis Weinstein
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My wife, who was a criminal defense lawyer who became a divorce attorney, is sitting across the room reading this book and can't stop chortling. It must be good. ...more
Apr 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: chick-lit, dnf, 2014
Don't trust professional reviews of this novel. This is mega tedious legal infodump-filled boringness. ...more
Jessica Woodbury
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am a criminal lawyer who happens to be getting a divorce. I really enjoyed this book.

What I wonder is whether non-lawyers will. Rieger's "novel in letters" works surprisingly well, but it also contains a significant amount of statutes, memos, cases and legal agreements that will probably have people flipping pages to get to the good stuff.

I had no trouble committing to the book. I liked it instantly and wasn't perturbed by the legal-speak. Our protagonist, Sophie Diehl, is a criminal lawyer i
Ayelet Waldman
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it
If you like to read fluff at the beach, say, this is ideal.
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was ok

1.5 stars

Only the most masochistic of readers will be able to derive any enjoyment from Susan Rieger's novel The Divorce Papers. The title and cover pretty much let you know everything you're going to encounter in this 480-page bloat: divorce papers. Lots and lots of divorce papers. If that's your "thing", then by all means, knock yourself out. It's about 60% divorce papers from an way-upper-middle class couple from the "commonwealth of Narragansett" (code for, I guess, "this really takes place
Mar 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014, legal, fiction
I like epistolary novels. I like legal novels. So I was hoping that I would enjoy this book. But I didn't really care for it. First, I don't understand why it had to take place in 1999. That's a really specific time period with a lot of meaning, but it didn't have any bearing on the story. There is no reason whatsoever that this story couldn't have taken place today, there just would have been more text messages and less handwritten letters. I also didn't care for all of the legal documents and ...more
Joseph Finder
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this. It's a fresh take on the "epistolary novel" -- novels told in the form of letters or documents, like "We Need to Talk About Kevin" or "Bridget Jones's Diary" -- using legal documents in an epic divorce case. It's getting great reviews, all well-deserved. ...more
Malena Lott
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved Rieger's voice. I know a lot of author/lawyers and they do make great writers. For her first novel, she stuck with what she knew - law - and the book's structure (a year of divorce papers, letters and emails) was a clever one. I did skim most all of the reference documents, but not the ones that pertained to the divorce Sophie was handling.

I enjoyed the book (read it in 3 days at around 600 pages) and for me the only thing that slowed the pace was Sophie's extremely long emails to her b
May 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014-finished
Take an unlikable heroine, a wildly implausible premise, wildly implausible and unprofessional behavior, and some backstory that, because of the epistolary-like style, requires tons of telling and very little showing. Add a dash of a fairly rote divorce case as the through line (though, actually, on this count, I applaud the author, because while none of her characters are very interesting, at least the divorcing husband and wife mostly act like actual people and not War of the Roses-style caric ...more
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2014
The title says it all, this was literally a collection of divorce papers. The book's description used words like "hilarious" and "laugh out loud"...I think that happened once. This is not a funny book, it's actually a rather dry book - which is fine, I knew that getting in, that it was written in epistolary style. For those who don't know what that means, it basically means that the whole novel is written as a series of documents (e-mails, memos, legal case studies, letters, etc.) I guess I just ...more
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
3.5 stars - It was really good.

It's so true that no two people ever really read the same book. My friends are torn down the middle between loving this one and DNF'ing it due to claims of it being a boring info dump. For me, it was a clever and quirky novel that while it didn't exactly keep me on the edge of my seat, it never slowed down the pace either.

I really enjoyed the wit of one of the MCs, Mia, and thought she handled her situation unbelievably well. Also loved all of the literary inclusi
Mar 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
It's Mia's first divorce...and it's the first divorce that her lawyer, Sophie has handled. Told exclusively through emails, and letters, the 461 pages flew by! It's okay to skim over some of the legal documents..when I saw documents that were highlighted I knew that I could just read those paragraphs and when a document had no highlights, I read it in its entirety. Unique. ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this a number of years ago. Maybe the audio version made it more enjoyable-but I remember it as an enjoyable listen.
Fred Forbes
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of the characters in the novel tells the protagonist, a young criminal attorney forced into handling a divorce case that "your editing function tends to be on the fritz ...you don't have to say everything you think." That tends to be a problem for her, especially in her e-mails and letter drafts. Other than that, if you are a fan of the epistolary style even if includes some dry legal rulings and court documents, financial spreadsheets in addition to the normal correspondence you will enjoy ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've never read an Epistolary novel before but this one had me flipping pages half the night. Full disclosure: I once wanted to be a divorce attorney, but I'm not sure if that matters. I like the distance from the characters. Who cares what they eat and what the space they're in looks? What matters is what happens. And when rich people divorce plenty happens. ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was a total waste of time. I stayed with it because I thought there must be something more to it. But there never was. Unless you really enjoy reading legal documents, you should pass on this ones not funny, no real story, no surprises.
Apr 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
Ms. Rieger, stick to legal profession. This book was just plain awful. I kept podding through it thinking it would have to get better as the review I read was very positive.
Apr 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
Blech. To be fair, this was a good idea for a book, and it was certainly a well-written one. But it wasn't humorous, as it claimed to be, nor interesting, as one would assume it should be. Oh well.

Sophie Diehl is a young criminal lawyer at a prestigious New England firm who is specifically requested to take on a divorce case by one of the firm's high society clients. This process is laid bare for readers through legal documents, notes, email, and office memorandum (the book is set in 1999.) Read
Mar 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know, it was an interesting book. Written mostly in epistolary style, it tells multiple stories. The story of a divorce (as advertised) the story of the firm handling the divorce, and the individual lawyers involved. There is one thing I don't necessarily want in my fiction, however. CASE LAW. The only non letters/emails in this book were either legal filings related to the divorce, or case law. I don't care if it's made up case law, I don't want to read CASES when I'm reading a book for fun ...more
Sarah Neofield
This is the first time (so far as I can recall!) that I've left an unstarred review on Goodreads. I read (or rather, listened to) Susan Rieger's The Divorce Papers as an audio book. I am fairly new to audio books, but usually, I do not find the difference noteworthy. In the case of The Divorce Papers, however, I suspect the fact I listened rather than read drastically impacted upon my appreciation of the novel. For this reason, my review reflects mainly upon the nature of the novel as an audio b ...more
Aug 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Not great as an audiobook, since it is mostly in letter, memo, email form, with a LOT of letterhead... But ok overall
Apr 29, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The one and only message this book manages to convey is that divorce boils down to money. But who among us didn't know that already? Lack of plot, lack of character development, and lack of actual storytelling take this book to the very top of my least liked books. I only finished this book to make sure I could write a thorough review.

The Divorce Papers is written in an epistolary style, that is, the story is told through documents rather than a narrative. The documents here are emails, interof
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: light
This is a curious book. It's billed as a modern epistolary novel. It's the story of a young lawyer who ends up handling a somewhat messy divorce. It's told through a series of memos, e-mails, handwritten notes and other materials, many of which you would find in a lawyer's file. SO, for instance, there are a couple of (fictional) cases involving divorce law included. There are also worksheets for various settlement proposals.

It's a pretty easy read, but why on earth would I read the worksheets
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
While I enjoyed reading this book, I don't know what kind of commercial success it will have.

The official summary describes Divorce Papers as "playful" but it really isn't. It's over 400 pages of legal documents. There's no funny in dividing up assets.

To break up the legalese there is correspondence between Sophie and her mentor/boss/crush, Sophie and her best friend Maggie, and Mia's letters. The emails between Sophie and Maggie are long and rambling and they do nothing but slow everything do
Erin Lynn
Nov 09, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My God.

When I first saw the synopsis for The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger, I thought that it looked like it would a a great book. I quickly discovered that reading it was agonizing.

If you're a lawyer, you'll probably love this book. Don't get me wrong... I used to want to be a lawyer, but the way that Rieger structures this novel just makes it so hard to read and understand. There is way too much focus on the actual papers that I couldn't even stand to read it, even though I liked the plot.

I w
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Susan Rieger is a graduate of Columbia University Law School. She is also a former Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at Columbia University. The Divorce Papers is her debut novel.

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