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The Sealed Letter
by Emma Donoghue | Literature & Fiction
Registered by jessibud of Toronto, Ontario Canada on 4/6/2008
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by lydoula): travelling


This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

8 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Sunday, April 06, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Received this ARC (advanced reader's copy) through the Harper-Collins' First Look program.

Though this is considered a work of fiction, it is, in fact, based very closely on a very real (and scandalous) divorce trial that took place in England over a hundred years ago.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well-paced, well-presented and knowing that it was based on true events added an element of excitement for me, especially since it took place over a hundred years ago. In some ways, we (as women) have come a long way; sadly, in other ways, certain issues facing women remain maddeningly entrenched in our social culture.

I think I will offer this up as a bookring.
The one suggestion I would make, though, is that the author's notes, at the end of the book, be read at the beginning instead. I have a habit of looking for author's notes and therefore DID read them before beginning the book. I found this section enormously helpful in grounding me in the story. They gave me a foundation, a setting and made it easier for me to identify who the cast of characters were. Had I waited to read them until after the story, I don't think I'd have enjoyed it as much.

I am now curious to read more of this author's works.
 


Journal Entry 2 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, April 08, 2008

This book has not been rated.

After finishing the book, I read the author's notes again. I still think reading them before reading the story is a good idea but reading them at the end, as well, rounded it all out quite nicely. 


Journal Entry 3 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Saturday, April 12, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Now a bookring, open to all. The usual rules apply: journal when you receive the book to let us know it's arrived, again when you've finished. Then PM the next person in line for a mailing addy. If you get no reply within a day or so, try to post an ISO in my thread for this book on the Bookring forum, as PMs are not always reliable.

On its way to participant #1!

1 - Pooker3 - Canada
2 - Wandering-B - Hong Kong
3 - Klaradyn - Capetown, S. Africa
4 - etherea - USA
5 - hippolein (and Teddyke) - Finland
6 - Wanderingstar8 - England
7 - lydoula - Greece currently here
 


Journal Entry 4 by Pooker3 from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, April 17, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Arrived today. Thanks jessibud!I just love it when my mail at work has packages and not just those nasty window envelopes!

Will get started on this shortly. Maybe it'll inspire me to read Slammerkin too. That one's been sitting on my shelf for years. Tsk. 


Journal Entry 5 by Pooker3 from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This book has not been rated.

As it's been a month since I received this book, I thought I'd make a quick JE to let you all know that it's not sitting forgotten and gathering dust. I'm about 2/3's of the way through and am loving every minute of it. As a family law lawyer, I have some vague recollection of having taken a legal history course in law school (Canadian law having evolved from the British) but this book makes it all come alive.

I haven't come across any "sealed letter" yet but am most intrigued to do so.

More later. 


Journal Entry 6 by Pooker3 from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, May 22, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Well! No sooner had I made the above journal entry than the sealed letter showed up. And the pace really picked up from there. I couldn't put it down.

Psst...Just so the rest of you know, also no sooner had I posted the above JE than our beloved ring leader pm'd to ask if I'd read the author's notes first "as instructed". As instructed? I thought it was a suggestion. Sheesh. Just thought I should warn you that you better have your homework done; teacher's checking! :D

Actually, I did start to read the author's notes *as instructed* but then came to something I thought I'd rather not know before reading the book, so I stopped for fear of lurking spoilers. As I got into the book though, I promptly forgot (not by design) what it was I'd thought I didn't want to know, so nothing was spoiled anyway.

I did read the notes after finishing the book. They are quite interesting and would not have spoiled the book for me as I had initially thought they might. As jessibud *suggests* they may indeed be helpful in providing foundation & setting for the story.

I personally was quite comfortable not having read the notes and had no difficulty with the characters or the setting and times. However, as mentioned, I do have some background in legal history and, as well, the history of the women's movement.

I got the impression that the book was very well researched. It all comes across as very authentic. The mores and customs, gender roles, manner of speaking, court processes and the well-developed characters, all delightfully real.

My only complaint is a personal one and that is that the lawyers come across badly. Why must lawyers always be presented as "liars" and shysters? It is not the case now and I don't believe it was the case then. Most of the lawyers I know are honourable and ethical people who respect the court system and would never fabricate evidence or encourage (or permit) their clients to do so.

That aside, I thought it a fabulous read and I definitely will blow the dust bunnies of Slammerkin soon.

Thanks for this jessibud! I've pm'd Wandering-B and will send the book on its way as soon as I have an address.
 


Journal Entry 7 by Pooker3 at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, May 23, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (5/23/2008 UTC) at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On its way today to Wandering-B in Hong Kong. The robbers at the Post Office suggested I hand over $30.00 for air fare, but I refused. Needless to say it's taking the scenic route. I hope it doesn't take too long! 


Journal Entry 8 by wandering-B from Tai Po, New Territories Hong Kong on Monday, July 07, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Received today. Have a couple in front of it but will get to it as quickly as possible. Thanks for sending it out, jessibud, and Pooker3 for sending it on to me. 


Journal Entry 9 by wandering-B from Tai Po, New Territories Hong Kong on Monday, August 04, 2008

8 out of 10

I enjoyed reading this book mainly because of its commentary on Victorian morals and behavior. The protagonist was weak person who used her friends to her advantage when she could. Had this taken place in the States in 2008, the outcome would have been much, much different. I have sent the book along to Klaradyn today - Thanks jessibud for sharing it with us and Pooker3 for sending it to me. 


Journal Entry 10 by klaradyn from Praha, Praha Czech Republic on Saturday, August 16, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Arrived today. Thanks for sending on, Wandering-B, and for sharing, jessibud. I look forward to this one, as I liked the other two books by Donoghue that I've read.

The binding of the book is pulling away from the pages a little, so I'll read it carefully and tape it up a bit before sending on. 


Journal Entry 11 by klaradyn from Praha, Praha Czech Republic on Monday, October 06, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Firstly, let me apologize for keeping this book so very long. I finally finished it this weekend. Like others have mentioned, the research seemed very thorough, and the historical setting of the book was interesting. However, it was hard for me to maintain an interest in the fates of any of the main characters, as I found them all thoroughly unpleasant. I know it is not necessary to sympathize with or like the characters, in order to enjoy a book. But in this case it did bother me.

Also, I would be quite interested to see whether the final version of the book differs very much from the ARC. 


Journal Entry 12 by klaradyn at Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Monday, October 06, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (10/6/2008 UTC) at Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Will be going to the post office after work to send this to etherea. I am going to use surface mail, as the book is quite heavy. That means it will take quite long to arrive, a couple of months. Sorry about that!

My book #67 for guinaveve's Keep Them Moving challenge. 


Journal Entry 13 by wingethereawing from Little Rock, Arkansas USA on Thursday, December 04, 2008

This book has not been rated.

The Sealed Letter has arrived! I'm between books right now so I'll get started on it right away. 


Journal Entry 14 by wingethereawing from Little Rock, Arkansas USA on Tuesday, January 06, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Thanks to jessibud for twisting my arm--I mean asking me to join this ring:) I really enjoyed this book!
I wasn't sure whether I should read the author's notes first or not. I started to read them and chickened out, just like Pooker3, as I was afraid of coming upon a spoiler.
I loved the fact that it was based on a real divorce trial from the Victorian era. A very well-written book that makes me want to read more by this author!
I have hippolein's address and will be sending it on its way soon. 


Journal Entry 15 by winghippoleinwing from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This book has not been rated.

The book arrived in Helsinki today, together with some info about Arkansas and BookCrossing notepapers (thanks etherea for sending and the extras!).

Have to confess that I had forgotten we signed up for this bookring, but are looking forward to reading the book. Wonder why we always get all the bookrings at the same day. Today too 5 arrived and I even didn't sign up for since summer last year - go figure!

Anyway, both of us will do our best to read the book gently (pages are starting to fall out) and rather fast... 


Journal Entry 16 by winghippoleinwing from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This book has not been rated.

My wife (Teddyke here) is ill in bed but managed to read the book. She liked it quite a lot, like the other books from Emma Donoghue she has read before.

Decided not to give it a try this time, so that we wouldn't keep up the ring too long (we're trying to get our own copy of the book, then I will have a chance to read it).

PM left for the address of the next person on the ring! 


Journal Entry 17 by winghippoleinwing at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, February 12, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (2/12/2009 UTC) at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

This book will leave today for the UK, unfortunately by economy mail as I was surprised that it was over 1/2 kg for just the book.
Hope it gets there anyway very fast.
 


Journal Entry 18 by wanderingstar8 from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Just arrived - unfortunately in the same post as several other bookring books, but I'll get to it as soon as possible... 


Journal Entry 19 by wanderingstar8 from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, March 16, 2009

6 out of 10

The front pages were coming out again by the time this reached me, so I've taped them all up - hope it holds.

For me this was really a book of two halves. The trial scenes are gripping, and this section allows Donoghue to pull together all the threads of her themes - about how the same story can be narrated differently by the people who were involved in it, and the contrast between truth and justice (brilliantly highlighted in the chapter titles, which are all legal terminology, with both the 'normal' and the technical definition).

Unfortunately, the story that leads up to the trial is not so well-told - I found it rather clunky, with too much telling and not enough showing (especially in the conversations where the two women are talking at cross-purposes), and it's a little bit too predictable.

Read Sarah Waters instead... 


Journal Entry 20 by lydoula from Θεσσαλονίκη, Thessaloniki Greece on Friday, April 10, 2009

This book has not been rated.

It came today and I am going to read it.
Thank you jessibud for sharing it and wanderingstar8 for sending it! 


Journal Entry 21 by lydoula at Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant / Brabant Flamant Belgium on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

9 out of 10

After 3 whole years, I've decided to read the book until the end and it was perfect. More than what I've imagined it to be.
I loved the plot and the writer's way of writing.

Thank you jessibud for letting me in this ring and giving me the opportunity to read this amazing book!
It's time for it to go home! :) 


Journal Entry 22 by lydoula at Sint-Donatuspark in Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant / Brabant Flamant Belgium on Monday, June 16, 2014

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (6/16/2014 UTC) at Sint-Donatuspark in Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant / Brabant Flamant Belgium

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

on a bench 


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