The Paper Palace

The Paper Palace

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 28/04/2022
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Paper Palace
Devoured in a few sittings
If Where the Crawdads Sing and Sorrow and Bliss had a baby it would be this! The Paper Palace is such a powerful read about love versus lust, complicated f... READ MORE
Violet Daniels
The Paper Palace
Beautifully written, just wasn’t for me
This was a really beautifully written book which tackled some really dark themes. This isn’t normally the kind of book that I’d go for (hence the lower rat... READ MORE
Amelia Adams
The Paper Palace
I feel a little strange about saying that I loved or thoroughly enjoyed a book that has so much trauma and childhood abuse at its core, but I did and it do... READ MORE
Hattie - Hitchin
The Paper Palace
An unexpected favourite!
Such an engaging story from something I (naively) expected to be fairy mid. I loved the way the story unravelled and the way the dual timelines were woven ... READ MORE
Libby Low


Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2022

Before anyone else is awake, on a perfect August morning, Elle Bishop heads out for a swim in the glorious freshwater pond below 'The Paper Palace' – the gently decaying summer camp in the back woods of Cape Cod where her family has spent every summer for generations.

As she passes the house, Elle glances through the screen porch at the uncleared table from the dinner the previous evening; empty wine glasses, candle wax on the tablecloth, echoes of laughter of family and friends. Then she dives beneath the surface of the freezing water to the shocking memory of the sudden passionate encounter she had the night before, up against the wall behind the house, as her husband and mother chatted to the guests inside.

So begins a story that unfolds over twenty-four hours and across fifty years, as decades of family legacies, love, lies, secrets, and one unspeakable incident in her childhood lead Elle to the precipice of a life-changing decision. Over the next twenty-four hours, Elle will have to decide between the world she has made with her much-loved husband, Peter, and the life she imagined would be hers with her childhood love, Jonas, if a tragic event hadn't forever changed the course of their lives.

Tender yet devastating, The Paper Palace is a masterful novel that brilliantly illuminates the tensions between desire and safety; the legacy of tragedy, and the crimes and misdemeanours of families.

  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • ISBN: 9780241990452
  • Number of pages: 400
  • Weight: 280g
  • Dimensions: 194 x 128 x 36 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Paper Palace
Gripping & Thought Provoking
a truly beautiful read with plenty of twists and turns that keeps you on your toes. A raw account of love, family, lies, secrets and life. a great read... READ MORE
Katie Fowler
The Paper Palace
The best I’ve read in a long time!!
Loved everything about this wonderful, rich & layered book. Didn’t want it to end. I’m now waiting for Miranda’s next one. Best book I’ve read in ages… ... READ MORE
Emma  Horan
The Paper Palace
A superb story
When I first started to read this book I thought it was going to be boring. But no it wasn’t. There are two stories entwined and to begin with you may get ... READ MORE
Avid reader
The Paper Palace
Strong story with weak ending
I loved following Elle’s story but felt that the ending was slightly rushed and abrupt. Whilst I appreciate the story telling technique, I felt that Elle d... READ MORE
Nick Leadbeater
The Paper Palace
Stunning scenery and a gripping drama
'The Paper Palace' by Miranda Cowley Heller tells the story of Elle, a middle-aged, happily married mother of three, who suddenly embarks on a passionate a... READ MORE
Bookish Blonde
The Paper Palace
Well Written Earthy & Invigorating
The Paper House by Miranda Cowley Heller*****The Paper House, is a vigorous family saga. But not as cozy as the title would suggest. It spans several gene... READ MORE
david norman
The Paper Palace
An impressive, well-told debut novel.
4.5★s The Paper Palace is the first novel by American author, Miranda Cowley Heller. In her early-fifties, Elle Bishop has sex with Jonas, the man she has... READ MORE
Marianne Vincent
The Paper Palace
Beautiful heartbreaking
Beautiful account of Elle, the main character. Truly shows how a complex love can leave a mark.. for decades. Stunning. Written beautifully - finished read... READ MORE
Zoe Dowthwaite
The Paper Palace
A Great Emotive Read
This book had wonderful characters and a strongly evocative sense of place. The clever plot device, moving the action both over 24 hours and many decades i... READ MORE
Valerie Reid
The Paper Palace
Not as expected
Have to say, I didn't enjoy this book very much. The constant switching between the present and the past became tedious to read. It should also include a t... READ MORE
Jamila Din