'The Sealed Letter is a page-turner with a jaw-dropping ending' Stylist
Helen Codrington is unhappily married. Emily 'Fido' Faithfull hasn't seen her once-dear friend for years. Suddenly, after bumping into Helen on the streets of Victorian London, Fido finds herself reluctantly helping Helen to have an affair with a young army officer.
The women's friendship quickly unravels amid courtroom accusations of adultery, counter-accusations of cruelty and attempted rape, and the appearance of a mysterious 'sealed letter' that could destroy more than one life . . .
Based on a real-life scandal that gripped England in 1864, Emma Donoghue's The Sealed Letter is a delicious tale of secrets, betrayal, and forbidden love.
In 1864 London, after a separation of seven years, Helen, now the wife of Vice-Admiral Codrington, bumps into her old friend Emily Faithful, now a well-known feminist and independent printer. As Donoghue (Slammerkin) deliciously unspools the twisted roots of their intimacy, Emily soon finds herself party to Helen's clandestine affair and snared in the sensational divorce proceedings that ensue (and which are based on an actual case from the period). Donoghue's elegantly styled, richly woven tale absorbs the everyday lives of Victorian women (rich, poor, working, home-bound, feminist, adulteress) and men (officer, lawyer, minister, adulterer, even an amateur detective) in a colorful tapestry of spiraling intrigue, innuendo, speculation and mystery. Characters indulge in pleasures at which Victorian novels could only hint, and which Donoghue renders with aplomb. Period details etiquette, typesetting, dress, medical treatments, public amusements, shipping and jurisprudence are rendered with a spare exactitude organic to the story. Donoghue's latest has style and scandal to burn.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Sealed Letter
Extramarital affairs, intrigue, scandal - great characters, complex relationships, courtroom room drama. Well written, I enjoyed this book very much. Carefully researched and planned - a pleasure to read.
Bought this book on a whim, being quite excited about trying something different.
Didn't seem to be hooked on this book, not really a page turner in my eyes, however, there are twists and history