The Sealed Letter
By Emma Donoghue
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151015498, 416pp.)
Publication Date: September 2008
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Based on a scandalous divorce case that gripped England in 1864, The Sealed Letter is a riveting, provocative drama of friends, lovers, and divorce, Victorian style.
Born in Ireland, Emma Donoghue spent many years in England and now lives in Canada. She is the author of Slammerkin as well as two other novels, a collection of short stories, and a collection of fairy tales. Her novels have been translated into eight languages.
PRAISE FOR EMMA DONOGHUE "Either Emma Donoghue spends most of her waking hours in musty library stacks or she lives a previous life in 18th-century England. She seems to inhabit the place. This is wonderful, soapy entertainment, but Donoghue infuses it with something more."Houston Chronicle"Superb . . . Donoghue uses both the color of the period and its literary devices to create a rich, complex, and remarkably powerful story."Elle
"...A deliciously wicked little romp, complete with a clever twist at the end."
[A] cozily lurid new novel.
Good lines there are in abundance. And in the end, “The Sealed Letter” provides both the titillating entertainment readers like Helen and Fido crave and the more sober exploration of truth, commitment and betrayal Harry might appreciate. Donoghue’s sympathy for all three of her central characters emerges through intimate narration and lifts the novel out of the tabloid muck, despite the public shaming Harry, Helen and Fido experience. There is, as Fido puts it, “so much to say, and little of it speakable.”
Donoghue blends a true case and period detail into an intriguing tale of mystery and passion.
A fascinating tour de force, a brilliant unraveling of closely held secrets and brutal betrayals...A case of Dangerous Liaisons with yet another layer of Victorian outrage.