|Ophelia in Pieces by Clare Jacob|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Barrister Ophelia Dormandy throws her husband out when she finds that he's been having an affair - and then has to come to terms with being a single parent in a job where the money and hours are uncertain. A great, thought-provoking read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: June 2011|
|Publisher: Short Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Barrister Ophelia Dormandy had been working hard – well, overworking – for the last six months and on the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday she decided that she would go home early and cook a decent meal for her husband and herself. She even decided that she would wear the red dress which Patrick liked. But when she got home Patrick and their son, Alex, were eating ice creams. He didn't seem in the least interested in dinner and then admitted that he was having an affair. Ophelia threw him out – and then began the long haul of trying to be a decent single parent in a job where the hours were long and the money uncertain.
We come to books for strange reasons. It's only a few days since I was reading a book about an American barrister – written by a woman who had been a barrister – and then Ophelia in Pieces landed on my desk. Clare Jacob had been a barrister. I was intrigued: how would the books compare and how similar were the lives of barristers on each side of the Atlantic?
I didn't really warm to Emily Giffin's heroine, but Ophelia Dormandy had me hooked from the first page. You might argue that throwing your husband out because he's been having an affair – and without having a lot of discussion about what's happened – is a little extreme, but then discussion is for the day job and she was entitled. It's not too long before she realises that there might have been more to the situation when she find herself unprofessionally attracted to a client. She realises too that being a single parent is far from easy – and that something always comes up when you really ought to be at the school concert/rugby match/whatever.
It's not a 'court-room drama' but there's an interesting insight into the way the courts work and the life of a barrister and the plot certainly lifts the book way above the chick-lit genre. It's a book which is likely to appeal more to women than to men but there's plenty in there to make you think. This is Clare Jacob's debut and I do hope that we'll be seeing more from her in the future.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Ophelia in Pieces by Clare Jacob at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Ophelia in Pieces by Clare Jacob at Amazon.com.
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