Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Paper Palace

Elle has spent every summer she can remember at the paper palace, her family’s ramshackle cabins deep in the backwoods of Cape Cod. Now facing midlife, all the choices she has made are colliding at once. Only Jonas knows. Only Jonas has kept the truth hidden from the other members of their families for all these years. Jonas fell in love with Elle when he was an eight year old freckled face little boy. He has never stopped and he never will. As the author flashes back to  their chaotic lives in the seventies, unrelenting parents, replete with adultery and abuse hide behind their bourgeois lifestyle. The author beautifully describes their idyllic surroundings and messy childhoods filled with family drama and decades of deceit. Everyone plays along but early bonds are unbreakable and although Elle is happily married to handsome Peter with three beautiful children, she is haunted by her past. She desperately misses her sister Anna and the life they shared, can never forgive her father and achingly yearns for Jonas. This detailed character driven writing and spectacular family dynamics bring this story to life. It is hard to imagine this is author Miranda Cowley Heller’s first novel.  Wow. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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