Close this search box.

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

Well, that was not the easy holiday read book we were expecting! So much more to this book than we had anticipated which gave us lots to talk about.  

A beautiful summer morning and Elle Bishop takes a swim in the pond by her family’s holiday home in Cape Cod, as she has done pretty much every year since she was a girl. As she swims she recalls the passionate encounter she had the previous evening while her mother, husband and family were entertaining guests inside. Events unfold over the next 24 hours, taking us back to her childhood, a decision that has shaped her life and has led her to betrayal, presenting an impossible choice. A complicated family saga and love story, interwoven with secrets, lies, and trauma.

A very well-written and crafted novel but it does cover some traumatic and upsetting incidents which some readers may find distressing.  The present day elements are set over 24 hours, the past elements over decades rather than days. Definitely a book to read in larger sections rather than a few pages at a time. Beautifully atmospheric and descriptive writing.

This was a book that kept us reading and was a page-turner, but also a book that was thought-provoking and made us uncomfortable.

Range: 7.5 – 9

Overall score: 7.9

View other book reviews