Thursday, October 26, 2017

The sealed letter by Emma Donoghue

This snatched love is all we have, but by God, it’s sweet. And to think that many die without a taste of it.
This historical fiction is based on a scandalous Codrington divorce case that was infamously and scrupulously covered by the press in 1864 England. Divorce was unheard of during the Victorian era, where a woman was unquestionably expected to place her domestic affairs before everything. A failing marriage or not, any act of adultery was severely condemned. Emily ‘Fido’ Faithfull, a 29-year old woman of business and a pioneer of British Women’s movement bumps into her long-lost friend, Helen Codrington on Farrigndon Street, Victorian England. Although an independent spirited, Fido soon finds herself naively aiding Helen in maintaining her extra marital affair with a young army Officer. This culminates in a courtroom drama filled with secrets, betrayal, suspense, counter allegation of rape, and an implication towards lesbianism.   
If women could shed their husband without risk of losing their children too, it’s feared that an alarming proportion of them would do so!
Work is a humiliating recourse for those surplus females whom no man is willing to support.
This is a brilliantly written fiction, very elaborately done with beautiful details. Although it’s not similar to Donoghue’s award-winning book, “Room”, and half as compelling, “The sealed letter” is richly woven with intelligent dialogues and finely sculpted characters. However, the story moves forward rather slowly. The delicious parts don’t happen until the last quarter of the book. If you want to feast your mind to some meticulous and expressive lines and interior monologues, this is the book. But if you want a fast-paced plotline, you might wanna look somewhere else.
Every friend one makes is liability: one has let her past the walls, allowed her to matter, and one must keep her as a friend forever or she’ll become an enemy.

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From "Die Mitte der Welt"

It's one of those hot, sky-blue days that taste of vanilla ice cream and summer and future, when your heart beats faster for no apparent reason, and when you're prepared to swear any oath that friendships never end.

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