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Publisher's Summary

Before anyone else is awake, on a perfect August morning, Elle Bishop heads out for a swim in the glorious fresh water 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 a dinner party the previous evening; empty wine glasses, candle wax on the table cloth, 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 outside the house, as her husband and mother chatted to the dinner guests inside.

So begins a story that unfolds over 24 hours and across 50 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 24 hours, Elle will have to decide between the life 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.

©2021 Miranda Cowley Heller (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Paper Palace

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  • Tids
  • 07-30-21

Great book seriously bad narrator

I have "read" this booked based on Reese Wetherspoon book club. I was not disappointed although the narrator was very robotic and mono toned, which made it a little difficult to follow. I would recommend the book itself not the Audible version.

3 people found this helpful

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  • S. Maguire
  • 08-10-21

Don’t waste your life

I rarely leave bad reviews but I feel compelled to comment here. Jesus, what a bunch of loathsome individuals. I can’t believe I wasted hours of my life on this shite.

2 people found this helpful

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  • kathryn1973
  • 09-16-21

Read rather than listen

This is a good book that I’m glad I “read” but the narration is terrible. All the speech is delivered in a sing song voice as if that’s how people actually speak to each other. It was so grating.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Elston
  • 09-13-21

Loved every part of this book.

I can’t rate this book highly enough!
I loved all the details about the woods I feel I want to just be there, this will be an audiobook I listen to again and again.
The characters are so strong and real I didn’t want the book to end.
This is definitely a favourite to tell everyone I can about.

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  • Wiz
  • 08-30-21

Pitch Perfect

Miranda Cowley Heller truly inhabits the very highest league when it comes to bringing her characters alive and giving them a genuine voice. Through this craft she makes it reassuringly easy to become immersed in her story telling.

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  • Mrs Lee Taute
  • 08-29-21

Keeps you wanting more..

Such an incredibly thought provoking story of the what ifs.. definitely a trigger read for me which made me realise that it’s ok to come out the other side of a horrible story and not let it rule your life. I was thrilled that o got the happily ever after I so wishes for I’m the book and hope there’s more to their story!

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  • sinead williams
  • 08-28-21

beautiful writing, a real treat for the senses.

highly recommend. beautifully wtitten.
paints a picture so real you feel like you coukd be there yourself.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-22-21

Couldn't put this down!

I've just "binge listened" to this book. Very engaging story, beautifully read. The shifting timeline works very well. The descriptive writing draws a vivid picture of the people and places throughout Elle's life.

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  • queenbeebuzz
  • 08-17-21

Captivating a story that draws you in

This book and characters drew me in at the beginning I wasn’t sure I was going to like them but the Paper Palace became so real I was by the pond on the beach in the cabin or New York in a snowstorm - I absolutely loved it it’ll stay with me for sometime

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  • debbieg
  • 08-15-21

Makes you work hard, but worth it

The story is great (Reece Withaspoon has nabbed it for a tv series) the writing is superb but the structure!!! Oh the structure! It’s just so fragmented, over complicated and obtuse. You have to really concentrate hard to keep so many characters, time frames, jig saw pieces of information in your head. Maybe would be better off the page and the bad editing and lack of pauses where you need them it just sloppy production. But ultimately I would recommend thus book, it’s such a good tale. Find that many contemporary American writers try and be too clever and show off - form
Over content. Needs re-editing for
pace.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-07-21

Loved the story but content warning

I loved the story and the character development. I thought it was great.

I want to flag that there is mention of sexual abuse if that's a trigger for you.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kirsty
  • 08-05-21

Spellbinding

Loved this book. Kept me engaged from the beginning. Heartbreaking at times. Beautifully read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-22-21

Great read

A bitter sweet story woven with intricate details. Amazing author. Loved this book, full of characters and a reminder that not all families are perfect but it doesn’t make us any less of a person

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marcia Abboud
  • 09-05-21

Family Dysfunction at it's finest

I adored this story, albeit triggering as the plot unfolded. I won't give any spoilers but will say it was satisfyingly worth hearing it through. Brilliant narration by Laurel Lefkow. The detail of scenery is stunning. With complex characters that you'll love to hate, and love to the end. A rich storyline of family, dysfunction and the secrets that bind them, kept me engaged to the end.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-11-21

Overthought and overwrought

Over the top naval gazing and ditto on the endless imagery. Irritating characters and disappointing end.