Friday, December 12, 2008

THE SEALED LETTER by Emma Donoghue

I read this book on a recommendation from a fellow reader. I trust her opinion and she didn't steer me wrong. The SEALED LETTER is historical fiction based on a famous divorce case that took place in England in the 1860s. The story is told through several points of view, the main one being real-life early feminist Emily "Fido" Faithfull.

Emily is reunited with an old married friend after a long separation and is drawn into her friend's affair with an officer. Eventually, she is forced to testify in the divorce case surrounding the affair.

The novel is filled with interesting insights about early English feminists and the rights (or lack thereof) of women during this time period. I think I was most surprised by the fact that I was sure the author would be most sympathetic to the women in the story. However, Donoghue often chooses to show how women set themselves back and men are often the victims. It is a very intriguing view of many different sides of the same story and offers a great deal of food for thought.

1 comment:

Gary said...

I would have never thought men of means in Victorian England as victims of issues related to gender (or any other period in history, for that matter). How interesting.