SUSAN RIEGER

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The Divorce Papers (2014)

Criminal lawyer Sophie stands in for a colleague to interview a woman seeking a divorce. She is reluctant to do so because she has no experience in matrimonial law, the case involves the daughter of an important client of her law firm and on a personal note she suffered through her parents' own divorce. Mia - humiliated when served her divorce papers at a high-profile restaurant - immediately warms to Sophie's no-nonsense approach and requests that she take on her case. With her husband Daniel, an eminent paediatric oncologist, having hired a notoriously ruthless law firm, Mia is willing to fight back hard to come out of the divorce with her head held high and win custody of their ten-year-old daughter, Jane. The story is told through a raft of documents, from emails and court documents to interview transcripts and case law. It also taps into Sophie's own life and experiences through emails to her actor friend Maggie and her work mentor David. But she doesn't actually have that exciting a life outside of work so it is Mia and her case that are the real interest here. Set in 1999 (not really sure why?), this book wins extra points for originality. But it loses them again for including far too many extraneous documents which I simply flicked straight past. All in all, it's an interesting case study into the divorce process of rich Americans, and will particularly appeal to aspiring lawyers, women looking for a guide on how to screw their husband, and those seeking a completely different read.


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