THE TOP TEN BESTSELLER
LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE 2022
'A deeply emotional love story that follows one day in the life of Elle Bishop as she navigates the unravelling of secrets, lies and a very complex love triangle' REESE WITHERSPOON
'Glorious and gorgeous. I was absolutely immersed and gripped and I'm devastated to have finished it' MARIAN KEYES
A PAGE-TURNING SUMMERTIME READ FOR FANS OF WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING AND LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE
On a perfect August morning, Elle Bishop heads out for a swim in the pond below 'The Paper Palace' - her family's holiday home in Cape Cod. As she dives beneath the water she relives the passionate encounter she had the night before, against the side of the house that knows all her darkest secrets, while her husband and mother chatted to their guests inside...
So begins a story that unfolds over twenty-four hours and fifty years, as Elle's shocking betrayal leads her to a life-changing decision.
'Here is a love triangle that keeps you turning the pages' Rachel Joyce
'Utterly addictive' Rosamund Lupton
'Dry, sharp and with devastating depths plumbed so elegantly' Pandora Sykes
'Smart, atmospheric and seriously juicy' Stylist
'Earthy, intoxicating, shimmering' Sunday Times
Readers have been gripped by THE PAPER PALACE too:
***** 'I devoured this book in a couple of days'
***** 'I fell in love with the characters'
***** 'A heart-rending love story filled with so many complications, you won't want to finish it'
***** 'It pulled me in from the first page'
***** 'If you loved Where the Crawdads Sing then you will love this book as well'
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
As head of drama series at HBO, Heller oversaw some of our all-time favourite TV shows, including The Sopranos and The Wire. Here she deploys those formidable storytelling skills in an enthralling and evocative debut novel, unfolding across both 24 hours and 50 years. In the present, we follow heroine Elle—a happily married, middle-aged mother of three—across a single day as she deals with the fallout from having sex with Jonas, her lifelong friend, for the first time. This is intelligently intercut with vivid flashbacks, illustrating how the pair got to this crisis point—and the deadly secret from their youth which bonds them forever. Will Elle gamble on soulmate Jonas or stay with her charming British husband? Heller’s immersive sensual journey takes in family trauma and midlife frustration, while transporting the reader back to the endless hazy summers of childhood holidays. Cleverly constructed and slyly devastating with several rug-pulling revelations, this is a love triangle with surprising angles.
In Heller's captivating debut, a woman's visit to her family's summer home on Cape Cod forces her to make a momentous decision. Elle Bishop, 50, and her family are back at the "Paper Palace," nicknamed for the cheap pressed paperboard their grandfather used in constructing the house. Elle continues to go there each summer despite painful memories, beginning after her parents split when she was 10 and her mother started bringing along a new boyfriend and his children, including his menacing 11-year-old son, Conrad. As the novel opens, Elle's finally consummated her feelings for Jonas, a friend from the Cape whom she's loved since she was a girl. Over the next 24 hours she must make the decision to stay with her husband, Peter, or finally be with Jonas. Woven throughout are flashbacks from Elle's childhood, including a horrific series of events over the summer of 1983 when Elle was 13, involving Conrad, Elle, and Jonas, as well as other family traumas that have reverberated through generations. When the details are revealed later on, they put the somber mood of the first half in a new light. While the story takes a while to get going, Heller's prose is full of lush atmospheric details. This will keep the reader guessing all the way to the end.
Hard to put down
A fascinating, clever book with the most beautiful descriptions. A must read.
Deliciously cosy & relatable…loved it!
A very real & captivating story of a life’s journey through impossible love, loss & heartache. The tangle of family relationships & the strength of women who are the glue that hold it all together.