The Paper PalaceMiranda Cowley Heller

The Paper Palace

4 star

Total 2,077 Ratings

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller Book Summary




“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 July 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.

The Paper Palace (Miranda Cowley Heller) Book Reviews

The Paper PalaceThe book does what all good books do; take you to a place as real & engrossing as life. Excellent first novel, I look forward to the next one..Score: 5/5

Vibrant and lyricalThis author has an amazing turn with words and the plot kept me hooked the whole time. The characters were intense, passionate, and vibrantly real. The human interest was compelling and moving. I loved it. Note: If you are triggered by any sort of sexual trauma this is not the book for you..Score: 5/5

Add to your favorites!This book reminds me of a Pat Conroy (who is one of my favorite authors) novel but without the “southern-ness”. It’s got wit, love, sex, cancer, secrets, tragedy, assault, perversion, food and alcohol. I couldn’t put it down..Score: 5/5

Best book of 2021Sad I’m finished..Score: 5/5

Good readA roller coaster of emotions from start to finish..Score: 5/5

Didn’t want it to end!Didn’t want it to end!.Score: 5/5

Trigger warningI couldn’t get past the sample because of the assault that happens. Save yourselves!.Score: 1/5

Good story, bad ending.Enjoyed the story and the lead character. Was really interested in her life and this is definitely a page turner. However the ending was horrible. I’m really not even sure what happened. The description of the book says she has to make a choice. The ending doesn’t make it clear what choice she made. Dissatisfied and disappointed..Score: 2/5

A page turnerLoved the style of writing - kept me hanging on through every page..Score: 4/5

FascinatingA total page turner. I couldn’t put it down. However I was disappointed by the ending but worth the read..Score: 5/5

This book needed trigger warnings.I liked it & finished it but there was definitely pieces I wasn’t expecting from description. Descriptive book. Loved the back and fourth from childhood to adulthood. Glad I read but not what I was expecting..Score: 4/5

JanuaryVegan pizza here.Score: 3/5

No pointPointless, long and drawn out skipped through the over detailed descriptions of swamp life. Save your money.Score: 1/5

Great…and then, NotIf I was reading this book in the traditional manner, not online, it would be across the room on the floor after reading the last paragraph. I was hoping for a better ending. I enjoyed the beginning, but the author’s love of description became too much; the plot and characters became lost in minute detail. My opinion. Too many characters to care about without enough development of each of them. Too many things left unanswered. It felt as if the point of the book was to focus on creating a visual image for the reader of the surroundings; eventually I became bored and began skipping lines, looking for activity..Score: 2/5

LoveIt’s very hard leaving these characters behind..Score: 5/5

DisappointingAbsolutely labored throughout this reading to a disappointing end..Score: 2/5

One of the best books , I ve readdThank you Reese.Score: 5/5

Romance, Pain, insecurities, and bravenessWow!! I would have chosen Peter also..Score: 4/5

Those Branch Off ConvosIt’s definitely a page turner! That, l loved. First time reading a book by this author. A little over-descriptive for my taste, kind of like when you have a conversation and it branches off a crazy direction only to come back to the point. I found myself asking “wait, who’s this again?” often because of the back and fourths. The story line was -raw, in such a humane way. 👏🏽 A good summer read..Score: 4/5

The paper palaceLoved the story. Great read..Score: 5/5

SuperbExtraordinarily well written. Deep character development. Page turning story..Score: 5/5

Love this book!Sweet, heart wrenching tale that’s beautifully written. I couldn’t put this book down!.Score: 5/5

Absolutely beautifully breathtakingI loved this book with every fiber of my being. The detailed descriptions, the back and forth of time. I waited for days until forcing myself to finish it because I never wanted it to end..Score: 5/5

Was expecting more -All the back and forth - ugh. And then the ending - just a so, so read for me..Score: 5/5

Well writtenI really like how the author describes minutia of every day life. The characters came to life under her careful craft, and I enjoyed being out of glimpse into another way of life. I didn’t fully understand some of the main characters conflict or the depth of her love affair, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the book I found love affair to be a little.Score: 4/5

...Oh man! I love hated this book. I was surprised that I could following along considering how jumpy the story line was for the majority of time. I liked that though. I had to re read the first few pages again to fully understand what she choose(in my opinion) It was really an interesting layout. I wouldnrecommend it!.Score: 5/5

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Page turner!Definitely cannot put it down..Score: 5/5

Couldn’t put it down!It took me less than 24 hours to read. Couldn’t put it down!.Score: 4/5

RemarkableReally well done. I loved it..Score: 4/5

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