The Paper Palace: A Novel (Unabridged)
REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK
INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
OVER 1 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
THE PAPER PALACE IS:
“Filled with secrets, love, lies and a summer beach house. What more could you ask?”—Parade
“A deeply emotional love story…the unraveling of secrets, lies and a very complex love triangle.” —Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club July ’21 Pick)
"Nail-biting." —Town & Country
“A magnificent page-turner.” —Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author
“[An] irresistible placement of a complicated family in a bewitching place.” —The New York Times
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.
It Stays With You
I will say, two weeks after finishing and well into another book, The Paper Palace is still in my mind and being processed. Some would say that is the sign of a good book. Sometimes parts felt to drag and I would ask why a certain part was important to include but in the end the whole won out over the sum of the parts. I would recommend this book. As a cancer survivor, I don’t enjoy that most books lean into that and use it as a dooms day scenario. Would be nice if it wasn’t used in that way in most books (and tv shows, movies, etc). Beyond that I enjoyed the various characters and personalities.
Really hard to follow.
Moves so fast. Lots of names with little description. End up forgetting who’s who and who did what. Switches back and forth on a timeline too fast.
I did not enjoy this book at all. Rape, abuse, excessive cussing, gross details, anti-climactic. Overall it was dark and depressing.