Donoghue’s novel was an interesting read — largely due to the fact that it is so heavily based on a real divorce case and the state of women’s rights during a divorce. But I found it very difficult to slip into the story and care about the characters. The outcome is what interested me — whether or not Harry would get his divorce from Helen. Interestingly enough, the contents of the sealed letter were not what kept me turning the page; I figured Fido would escape without much damage in the end.
The two women — Fido and Helen — are an interesting pair but neither had winning personalities, and I struggled to care about either of them in the end. The author does, though, presents female friendship in all its complexity, which I found pretty interesting.
The cursive font used for the letters, however, was the biggest detriment to The Sealed Letter. The font was incredibly hard to read, and I had to squint and guess to make out the letters’ content. So much of this novel depends on the letters that I was very frustrated in my inability to read them.
The Sealed Letter was well-written no doubt, but it lacked the eloquence and gripping plot like other books in its genre. Still, I thought Donoghue made this scandal divorce case into an enjoyable read.
- Donoghue, Emma. The Sealed Letter. New York: Harcourt, 2008. 397 pgs. ISBN: 015101549X. Source: Library.