From the bestselling author of Room comes a delicious tale of secrets, betrayal and forbidden love 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, The Sealed Letter is a delicious tale of secrets, betrayal, and forbidden love.
©2008 Emma Donoghue (P)2012 Macmillan Digital Audio
"Very enjoyable." (Independent on Sunday)
"Briskly written, deftly plotted and nicely ironic." (Guardian)
"Blissfully readable." (The Times)
I was attracted to this book because I really enjoyed listening to Room by the same author. At first, I wasn't sure I would find the subject matter too compelling but the characters are so beautifully crafted and the storyline is interesting. The book is very well researched, as becomes obvious in the afterword, and Emma Donoghue used the research to create a detailed and fascinating picture of the daily lives and larger events in the year 1864. Judging by the information freely available about Fido Faithful and the Codringtons, the author has remained true to real events and brought them and the times they occurred in, beautifully to life. The narrator is also excellent and conveys the different characters and their foibles in fine subtlety.
Full marks to Emma Donoghue for her scholarship, but it's not much of a story. The characters, as depicted are a bunch of extremely annoying twits. I found the depiction of Fido as a naïve, drippy, romantic, particularly irritating. I've read my share of Braddon and Collins, and I didn't find the simpering dialogue authentic for the period, just a bit condescending towards lesbians and their straight girl crushes. I suspect Fido would be turning in her grave, if such things were possible.
I am a miracle worker. Doing what I can to choose love over fear.
The narrator ruined it all
I wish Stephen Fry could have read this. Yes, Isay that
I want to be able to read this, but no!
"Wasted 12 hours of my life listening to this"
A better story, better written.
The story lacked any suspense or pace. I was expecting a gripping courtroom drama based on a true story, but instead it was dreary tale of dreary people with whom I had no sympathy or interest.
Charlotte's voice was interesting and clear and the story was well read; just a shame she had to read this one. I would choose another book read by Charlotte.
All of them.
As a work of historical fiction it lacked the characterisation or story telling of other works I have read. It was neither informative, nor entertaining.
"Loved this book!"
I loved this book. I wasn't really sure what to expect but since I enjoyed Emma Donogue's first book (Room) I thought it was worth a go.
The book had good pace and the main character was a believable strong business woman ahead of her time.
Would definitely recommend this book - had me gripped right to the end.
"What a versatile writer!"
Its authenticity and depth of research.
I cannot believe that the author of "Room" (itself an excellent, nail-biting story) wrote this brilliant exposé of 19th century female subjugation in pacey, narrative form. The way she weaves her impressive knowledge of Human Rights history into such a gripping, emotive tale is remarkable.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought there were one or two clunky references to contemporaneous inventions but the characters were engaging and the plot moves along at a great pace.
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