Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donaghue

I so enjoyed Emma Donaghue's Room that to pass up her next novel, The Sealed Letter, was just simply unthinkable.

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue

The Sealed Letter is a novel based on a real-life divorce case that happened in 1864 England.  Emily "Fido" Faithfull is a woman like no other.  She has an unmarried woman with her own business, a rarity during the Victorian era, and was also at the forefront of the British women's movement.

Having been reunited with her once-dear friend, Helen Codrington, she finds herself becoming a pawn in her friend's divorce case, called upon to bear witness for both the latter and her husband, and trying to understand just where her sentiments should lie.  (Read the full summary here at

I love the way the novel was written, giving voice to people who lived so long ago.  It's interesting to see just how divorce cases were handled during the Victorian era (which wasn't as easy to acquire as it is now in some countries) and the outcome of an event like this.

There are parts, however, that really got my goat.  For instance, Fido was almost always portrayed as a weak, and at times stupid, individual when faced with her friend's requests and lies.  It just became too tiresome when the offense was repeated again and again.

Nevertheless, the novel was an interesting read; the ending of which was, although slightly hinted at from time to time, still left me reeling from the outcome.


  1. Sounds like a great read... :) I understand what you mean when characters are sometimes played around until they become rather too unrealistic... will take note of this book thanks for the review!

  2. Interesting. It's been a big while since I have finished a book. Lucky, lucky you :)

    Spanish Pina


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