book cover of The Paper Palace
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The Paper Palace

(2021)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
2023 Nielsen Bestseller Award for Fiction - Gold

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.


Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"A beautifully constructed, wonderfully intelligent and beguiling novel, rich with a multitude of pleasures." - William Boyd

"Set in the physical and psychic landscape of Cape Cod, The Paper Palace is a fever dream of a novel, luminous with love and shot through with humor and heartbreak. It is a book that explores the indelibility of childhood, what it means to be shaped by place, and all that is unpredictable about the human heart. I couldn't put it down." - Adrienne Brodeur

"I can't think of a more brilliant debut than The Paper Palace. Enticing, assured and multi-layered, it introduces a major new voice in American fiction . . . A marvel." - Cressida Connolly

"Beautifully written, richly compelling, The Paper Palace is as dark and uncompromising as it is tender and lyrical. Here is a love triangle that keeps you turning the pages, a vivid evocation of place, and an exploration of the one of the most unsettling of secrets." - Rachel Joyce

"The Paper Palace turned out to be the very page-turner I needed. If you want to learn something about love over a long time - how it can hurt, how it can soar - read this book." - Mary Beth Keane

"It's glorious and gorgeous. I was absolutely immersed and gripped and I'm devastated to have finished it." - Marian Keyes

"Absolutely phenomenal novel - dazzling writing and utterly addictive. Read it." - Rosamund Lupton

"It felt as if I read The Paper Palace in one go. It was completely immersive, and shocking, and utterly alive. I loved it." - Nina Stibbe

"Miranda Cowley Heller has written a magnificent page-turner, a love story that shimmers with desire, intelligence, and humor. Lush and gorgeously written, The Paper Palace is as intoxicating as a summer night by the sea. I didn't want it to end." - Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

"Tightly woven and immediate, The Paper Palace takes us deep into a vivid summer landscape, a family, and a private, longstanding love story, and holds us there from start to finish." - Meg Wolitzer


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