The Paper Palace: A Novel

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The Paper Palace centers on the family summer cabin that is Elle’s favorite place. In a nonlinear narrative, the story describes the events leading up to Elle’s affair with her childhood friend Jonas. Throughout the story, Elle struggles to decide whether to end her marriage and attempt a life with Jonas, who is her dearest friend and the true love of her life. With laugh-out-loud dialogue and rich, descriptive style, this book was a beautiful character-driven read.

The Paper Palace expertly balances humor and complex, emotional topics, and it is a truly impactful book. I felt like I really got to know Elle as the protagonist, and otherwise uneventful moments were brought to life and made interesting by Heller. Elle’s relationships with her mother, father, and sister were so touching and wrought with emotion. The side characters were also interesting and added richness and uniqueness to the story. Jonas and Elle’s relationship was fantastically written, with equal parts sexual chemistry and emotional connection. This book explored the effects of trauma after sexual abuse, and the resulting guilt and shame. It’s not an easy read, but it is captivating in its lyrical descriptions and deep character development.

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Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher Penguin Random House
Publish Date 06-Jul-2021
ISBN 9780593329825 Buy this Book
Issue November 2021
Category Popular Fiction