The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller full audiobook

The Paper Palace

Miranda Cowley Heller

First published 6 july 2021

The Paper Palace is a captivating debut novel that explores the complexities of love, family, and trauma. The story follows Elle Bishop, a 50-year-old woman who faces a life-changing decision between her childhood friend Jonas and her husband Peter. The novel alternates between the present day, where Elle has 24 hours to make her choice, and the past, where Elle’s childhood and family history are revealed.

The novel is set in Cape Cod, where Elle’s family has a summer house called The Paper Palace. This place is full of memories, secrets, and emotions for Elle, who has spent every summer there since she was born. The Paper Palace is also where Elle and Jonas had sex for the first time, on a night when their spouses were inside the house. This act of betrayal sets in motion a series of events that will force Elle to confront her past and her future.

The novel is rich in detail and atmosphere, creating a vivid picture of the Cape Cod landscape and culture. The author draws on her own experience of spending summers there, and infuses the story with a sense of nostalgia and realism. The novel also explores the themes of desire, dignity, abuse, and forgiveness, showing how they affect the characters and their relationships. The novel does not shy away from depicting the dark and disturbing aspects of Elle’s family history, such as rape, incest, and pedophilia. These issues are handled with sensitivity and nuance, but they may be triggering for some readers.

The Paper Palace is a compelling and emotional read that will keep you hooked until the end. The characters are well-developed and flawed, making them realistic and relatable. The plot is fast-paced and suspenseful, with twists and turns that will surprise you. The writing is beautiful and lyrical, with a touch of humor and wit. The novel is a powerful exploration of the human heart and its contradictions, as well as the impact of our choices on our lives. If you enjoy literary fiction with romance, mystery, and drama, you will love The Paper Palace.

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