Review

Review: The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

“I could look at him and nothing else for eternity and be happy.”

Genre: Domestic Fiction

Pages: 400

Published: 2nd July, 2021

Rate: 4 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A story of summer, secrets, love, and lies: in the course of a singular day on Cape Cod, one woman must make a life-changing decision that has been brewing for decades. 

“This house, this place, knows all my secrets.”

It is a perfect August morning, and Elle, a fifty-year-old happily married mother of three, awakens at “The Paper Palace”–the family summer place which she has visited every summer of her life. But this morning is different: last night Elle and her oldest friend Jonas crept out the back door into the darkness and had sex with each other for the first time, all while their spouses chatted away inside. Now, over the next twenty-four hours, Elle will have to decide between the life she has made with her genuinely beloved husband, Peter, and the life she always imagined she would have had with her childhood love, Jonas, if a tragic event hadn’t forever changed the course of their lives. As Heller colors in the experiences that have led Elle to this day, we arrive at her ultimate decision with all its complexity. Tender yet devastating, The Paper Palace considers the tensions between desire and dignity, the legacies of abuse, and the crimes and misdemeanors of families.

My Take

The Paper Palace is one book that had me at the edge of my of seat from the first page till the last. I went in knowing very little about the book, which made my reading experience even better.

The Paper Palace is one vivid and provocative book. This is the part I tell you to check out the content warning because it is a lot and can be hard to read. Miranda Cowley’s writing is unapologetic and evocative. The book’s story line is twisty and twisted, like a train wreck you can’t stop and can’t look away. I loved it!

“Actually, there’s nothing better than bacon.”

The characters in The Paper Palace are flawed. Morally grey, borderline unhinged that brings this book to life. Each has a role to play and they are written in so well. You don’t know if you are rooting for them or want them locked up. The setting of the book plays a huge role in the plot. It actually is my favorite character in the whole book.

The one thing I didn’t like about The Paper Palace is the ending. It fell flat and inconclusive in it’s openness. This though is my opinion, I know a few people who really liked it.

The Paper Palace is one book that will have you picking your jaw from the floor. Now that is both a good thing and a bad one. Seeing how it all pans out is just a huge treat. I highly recommend this book. (with caution)

Have you read The Paper Palace? What did you think about it?

2 thoughts on “Review: The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

    1. It is a fascinating read that’s for sure. I have a feeling you’ve read some Domestic Fiction though. Whether you enjoyed it or not is another story

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