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Paper Palace
Paper Palace | Miranda Cowley Heller
104 posts | 118 read | 8 reading | 75 to read
REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK "A magnificent page-turner. . . as intoxicating as a summer night by the sea." --Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of Good Company It's been ages since I was so absorbed in a contemporary novel. I loved it. --Nick Hornby, New York Times bestselling author of Just Like You A soulful debut that plumbs the depths of a midlife Sophie's Choice. --People A story of summer, secrets, love, and lies: in the course of a singular day on Cape Cod, one woman must make a life-changing decision that has been brewing for decades. "This house, this place, knows all my secrets." It is a perfect July morning, and Elle, a fifty-year-old happily married mother of three, awakens at "The Paper Palace"--the family summer place which she has visited every summer of her life. But this morning is different: last night Elle and her oldest friend Jonas crept out the back door into the darkness and had sex with each other for the first time, all while their spouses chatted away inside. Now, over the next twenty-four hours, Elle will have to decide between the life she has made with her genuinely beloved husband, Peter, and the life she always imagined she would have had with her childhood love, Jonas, if a tragic event hadn't forever changed the course of their lives. As Heller colors in the experiences that have led Elle to this day, we arrive at her ultimate decision with all its complexity. Tender yet devastating, The Paper Palace considers the tensions between desire and dignity, the legacies of abuse, and the crimes and misdemeanors of families.
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Lisalucy
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

Not for the faint hearted. This book has turned me to remember life trauma but also to realize it is not our fault . The story of a woman who must choose between her husband or the man she loved since she was a child. One of the best books I‘ve ever read.
#20 read a book with a building on the cover

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mcctrish
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

What a punch this book packs!!! I loved it!!

Jas16 Lovely photo! 2w
5feet.of.fury 🌅 great pic! 2w
See All 6 Comments
KarenUK Lovely pic! And totally agree on the book! 2w
mcctrish @KarenUK I thought a cottage pic was appropriate ( not sure this kind of drama has ever happened at my husband‘s family cottage ) 2w
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful 😍 2w
63 likes6 comments
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mcctrish
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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I just finished Book 2 and if I said WTF multiple times leading up to the end of this section, they barely count with the HOLY SHIT I just said out loud in my backyard 😱😱😱

Julsmarshall There are a lot of “what just happened” moments in this book! 2w
mcctrish @Julsmarshall for real !!!! 2w
Cathythoughts I‘m looking forward to this one 👍🏻♥️ 2w
Tamra 😜 well that‘s a sign of an engaging read! 2w
mcctrish @Tamra no one can say I don‘t get immersed in what I read 🤣🤣🤣 2w
59 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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Julsmarshall
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

This book was immersive, thoughtful, and bittersweet. A woman‘s journey recovering from a generationally dysfunctional upbringing and finding her way to a forever love. Sad and honest, the writing was lovely and the sense of place exceptional. I will definitely read more from Heller. Great on #audio #bookspinbingo #TBR @TheAromaofBooks

mcctrish I‘m just about to start this 2w
julieclair Great review. 👍 2w
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2w
58 likes1 stack add3 comments
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perfectlywinged
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Already in love with the Cape Cod setting and many pond swims that are happening. It‘s lovely and nostalgic.

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Mitch
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Mehso-so

This wasn't what I was expecting - the cover would suggest a lighter, summery type read - of vacations, families and messy choices. And it is about that - but its darker and deeper and I wasn't ready for that. What I loved was her detailed creation of time and spaces. It was a really visual book - where both the natural watery world of ponds, lakes and oceans could be smelt and felt - as well as the interiors perfectly pitched in time and place.

Cathythoughts Great review. I have this one and am looking forward to getting to it 👍🏻♥️ 3w
rachaich Yes, I felt the story wasn't great and didn't like the characters much. 2w
65 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Mitch
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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It‘s been too hot to read this week and I‘m way behind on Bookclub book ( meeting on Monday !)- but @Chrissyreadit superwoman comes to the rescue with a wearable fan WITH lights! How brilliant is that! ❤️

RaeLovesToRead Oh wow!! That is awesome! 4w
squirrelbrain Amazing! ❤️ 4w
Soubhiville You may have begun a new fashion- needing wearable fans in TX right now! 4w
See All 14 Comments
Avanders 🤯🤯 4w
AmyG Hahaha! Perfect. 🙌🏻❤️❄️ 4w
DLQBOOKNERD That's awesome 4w
Cupcake12 Love this x 4w
LiteraryinLawrence Genius!! 4w
Chrissyreadit 😘from 🥵to🥶 hopefully 😁 4w
Chrissyreadit @Soubhiville my friend in California loves his neck fan and highly recommended it. I think he uses it at work too. 4w
SamAnne That is wonderful. 4w
Gissy Love it! 😍👌Great photo too! 🤗 4w
Tera66 Looking cool 😎 4w
CoverToCoverGirl Loooove it! 4w
96 likes14 comments
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Mitch
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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We‘re both taking sanctuary in the north facing Snug as the temperatures outside soar. I bucked up the courage to join the village IRL Bookclub - so need to actually read the book and have some thoughts!

Leftcoastzen 🔥🐶stay hydrated 1mo
SamAnne Thinking of all of you in the U.K. 1mo
Maria514626 Hang in there. 🥵 1mo
See All 9 Comments
CBee I‘ve been thinking about you - seeing the heat wave news 🙁 Please take care of yourself ♥️ love to you! 1mo
UwannaPublishme Aww! Great photo! Keep cool! 🐶❤️ 1mo
squirrelbrain Henry says hi! He likes frozen carrots when it‘s like this. I enjoyed the book, and it‘s a good one for a book club discussion. 1mo
Mitch @squirrelbrain Woodford isn‘t so keen! He does love some doggie ice cream though! 1mo
iread2much Your room looks lovely and your reading partner is adorable 1mo
Magpiegem Hope you are staying cool! It‘s pretty toasty here in Brighton but I think we got off pretty easy compared to London today! Xx 1mo
85 likes9 comments
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melissajayne
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

4.5⭐️ It took me about half of the book to really get into the book, but once I got past that halfway point, I really got into it. I liked how the author built up to what happened and the fallout from what happened. I also liked the time jumping in the book and how efficient it was used. Content warnings for rape, sexual assault, pedophilia #2022 #bookreview #bookstagram #fiction #contemporaryfiction #reesesbookclub

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melissajayne
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Things come from nowhere. #firstlinefridays

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KarenUK
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

#unpopularopinion time(at least here on Litsy!) I loved this. The writing is gorgeous and evocative, capturing the summer in the backwoods, creating an atmosphere of sultry heat and the rotting camp perfectly. As family secrets and past trauma are slowly revealed, the urgency of intense emotions play out in the present day over 24hrs. Questionable decisions are made, complex emotions and flawed behavior are abundant. And I couldn‘t stop reading.

KarenUK CW for rape, incest and infidelity. 2mo
TheLudicReader I also loved it. My favourite book last year. 2mo
KarenUK @TheLudicReader Yay! I was questioning how much I loved it! 😌 2mo
46 likes3 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this compulsive novel. It‘s full of rich white people behaving badly & the narrator is unlikeable but it‘s well written and a great book club book. There are characters you can love to hate and readers will have strong opinions about the choices Elle makes and her 2 ‘loves‘. The writing feels like a film or tv with a strong sense of place & scene and shows the author‘s screenwriting experience. A privileged, snarky tone but a fun read.

38 likes2 stack adds
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melissajayne
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3mo
15 likes1 comment
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rachaich
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

Gosh, whilst I liked the writing much of the time, the characters had little to like about them, so self absorbed and egocentric. I guess that was the intention.
I found the switching of time frustrating at first but settled into it when I read larger chunks.
Still uncertain what to make of the ending...

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rachaich
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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I'm trying to get started on this book. I think I need to sit for a longer period to really appreciate it as the sections are short and I'm forgetting events and characters.

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BookNAround
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Furiously trying to finish this one so I can send it home with my daughter when she leaves tomorrow!

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melissajayne
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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My #bookspinbingo list for May

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
17 likes1 comment
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peacegypsy
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Mehso-so

I almost DNF this book numerous times, but at 50%, I forged ahead. Reese‘s picks haven‘t been as reliable for me lately. There are some significant triggers in here, and the ending is unresolved. It might just be me, so I always hesitate to not recommend a book, but I do hesitate a little on this one. I struggle with criticizing books, because I wholeheartedly believe every book has something to offer that you didn‘t have before. It is here, too.

TheLudicReader This book seems to really divide people. It was my favourite read last year. Go figure. 😀 4mo
40 likes1 comment
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peacegypsy
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Back to a Reese recommendation. 😊

27 likes2 stack adds
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jlhammar
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Panpan

Yuck. Sadly, that is the first word that comes to mind when I think of this book. I found the many graphic sex scenes and infidelity storyline stomach turning. Not my cup of tea. Also, numerous instances of characters peeing/needing to pee. Seemed like a strange choice I could have done without. The ending is intentionally ambiguous—who does Elle pick? I couldn‘t care less.

My seventh read from the #womensprize longlist.

paperwitchs OOF. Thanks for the warning, that‘s totally a TW for me and I wouldn‘t picked it up for the title and over alone 🥲 4mo
LitStephanie Yes, thanks for the warning! 4mo
DivineDiana Thank you for your review. I no longer have any desire to read this one. 4mo
jlhammar @DivineDiana I probably should have known within the first few pages, when a dragonfly (or some other insect) lands on a character's nipple or when she is wondering if the turtles can smell sex on her when she is swimming, that it wouldn't be for me. If it hadn't been on the Women's Prize longlist I probably would have called it quits early on. Pretty cover though. 4mo
Abailliekaras Yes far too much needing to pee!! 😂 2mo
58 likes5 comments
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Cinfhen
Paper Palace | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Despite the gorgeous cover, I can‘t go on with this book. When 4/5 every adults are cruel monsters & I find there‘s nothing “enjoyable” on the pages, I feel good calling it quits. Nope, NOT FOR ME 👎🏼 #DNF #BAIL #NoRegrets need to find a new audio ….

Megabooks Good choice! I should‘ve bailed too. This was definitely a disappointment. 4mo
Cinfhen I was reading because it‘s on the #WomensPrizeLongList @Megabooks but it‘s not worth torturing myself 4mo
Clwojick 😂😂 I didn‘t realize the reviews for this one were so bad! The only reason I‘m reading it is since it on the Reese Book Club list, and I decided to read the backlist. 4mo
Cinfhen It‘s a real hit or miss on Litsy @Clwojick 😬I‘m obviously in the MISS category/ lmk if you pick it up!! 4mo
67 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Cinfhen
Paper Palace | Miranda Cowley Heller
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My library hold came in today so I‘m going with #MixedReviewsOnLitsy to link my last read with this one #ThingsInCommon @Clwojick 😊

Clwojick Ooooh! Good call! I have that one on hold right now. 4mo
Megabooks Loved Booth hated PP and have definitely heard of others feeling opposite! 👍🏻👍🏻 4mo
Cinfhen I‘ve only started listening to PP @Megabooks but both the mom & daughter are very unlikeable. I have a feeling my thoughts on this book might jive with yours!! I‘ll be curious to hear what you think @Clwojick when u get to PP 4mo
65 likes3 comments
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KatieB
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

I think this book has been getting mixed reviews and the Reese‘s Book Club endorsement is usually a bad sign for me but I really enjoyed this. I loved the setting, felt invested in the characters, and looked forward to picking up the book when I wasn‘t reading it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #bookspin #womensprize

Cathythoughts Nice review! I‘m looking forward to reading this one 👍❤️ 4mo
17 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Sharpeipup
Paper Palace | Miranda Cowley Heller
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My plan is to sit here and drink this entire pot as I really need the caffeine. #mondaymorning

SRWCF Solid plan! 🤜🤛 4mo
tpixie Lady of the Manor! Love the mug ☕️ 💖 4mo
Gissy Love that mug😍 4mo
36 likes1 stack add3 comments
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ClairesReads
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

The Paper Palace is a great mix of some fairly conventional intergenerational domestic drama, an exploration of the impact of trauma on relationships in our lives, and the significance of place to human experience. It should be noted that there are a handful of fairly confronting scenes depicting abuse and trauma which were a bit unexpected for me. It‘s not a literary masterpiece but it‘s a compelling weekend read which I really enjoyed.

CoverToCoverGirl Lovely photo 😻 5mo
43 likes2 comments
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Cathythoughts
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Thanks so much Trish. Love the books ! Perfect 👌👌🥰😘
@TrishB

squirrelbrain These will be perfect for you Cathy! ❤️ 5mo
Cathythoughts @Squirrelbrain I think they both look great 👍 (edited) 5mo
erzascarletbookgasm The books synopsis sound good! 😍 5mo
TrishB Have a fab day Cathy 😘🥂🥂 5mo
LeahBergen That Sherwood King looks like my kind of read! I must investigate. 😊 5mo
49 likes5 comments
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ajmayorquin
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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7 likes1 stack add
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rmaclean4
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Mehso-so

3 🌟. A very readable book. Straightforward story of a highly dysfunctional family. Content warning for sexual abuse. I did not like how the abuse was written about. Mixed feelings on this book. Feels like it will be a Netflix series in the future.

AvidReader25 I‘m glad you included this warning. I was reading it and had to stop because of the abuse. 4mo
rmaclean4 @AvidReader25 i did not think it was handled well. 4mo
27 likes2 comments
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jlhammar
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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I felt like I deserved a reward for making my dreaded and much delayed Target trip. Was very happy to find that they had two titles from the Women‘s Prize longlist.

squirrelbrain Both great books..enjoy! 5mo
ChaoticMissAdventures I orded both of these from Target too! So easy to grab along with toilet paper 😂 5mo
jlhammar @ChaoticMissAdventures That is too funny! I wasn't planning to get these two yet, but it just seemed meant to be. 5mo
jlhammar @squirrelbrain Thanks, so glad to hear that! 5mo
53 likes1 stack add4 comments
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JulieAly
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Panpan

I did not enjoy this.

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JennyM
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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After a busy morning of U10s cricket 🏏 I‘m gettin comfy on the sofa to start my latest - and much anticipated, longest library hold ever!!! - read.

squirrelbrain I really liked this one, but I know it has mixed reviews…. 6mo
Cathythoughts This sounds good. I stacked this one recently 👍 6mo
JennyM @squirrelbrain @Cathythoughts I‘m really enjoying it 👍 6mo
Cinfhen Hi Jenny!!! I just started this book and saw your post/ did you end up liking the book?? Hope all is well ♥️ 4mo
53 likes1 stack add4 comments
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nichollinlove
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

As a childhood SA survivor, I think this book highlights how traumatic childhood events can effect generations. Elle comes from a line of women unknowingly continuing a cycle. I can appreciate that the story also reveals that we all have awful shit that we have to endure and rise above. Some traumas take more healing than others. TWs abound but an honest and sobering look into one version of reality for many SA survivors.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Bren912 As a fellow survivor—did it trigger anything For you? 6mo
nichollinlove I knew the scenes existed before I read the book and I think it helped me be ready for it. I also don't think they were anymore graphic than the nature of the explanation of what's happened. I can appreciate that from the author, just the facts, not a lot of dwelling or detail over the actions themselves. One sets the trajectory for much of the story and the other is a necessary example for the show of generational trauma. There are only 2 events. 6mo
69 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Anna40
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Panpan

I thought The Paper Palace is about a woman in her 50s who is at a point in her life where she feels she has to choose between her husband and her childhood sweetheart/best friend/ the love of her life. Mind you, they have been friends for many years, so why now? But ok… It isn‘t. The themes are incest, sexual abuse, rape of children. I wish I had known this before I started reading the book. I‘m confused and disgusted. Not for me

Megabooks Yes! I don‘t know why this was such a poplar Reese pick! 7mo
Anna40 @Megabooks I think this should either be about abuse or about a difficult decision later in life, but those two mixed together didn‘t work for me - made it a mess. 7mo
AvidReader25 Yes! I stopped reading it because of the abuse. I had no idea that‘s what it was about. 4mo
Anna40 @AvidReader25 If I had known it was about abuse, I wouldn‘t have read it or might have felt differently about it, but it sounds as though the book is about the relationship and choices in later life that affect your family etc. - and it wasn‘t - and that‘s what annoyed me. Plus the detailed descriptions of the abuse are so disturbing 😳 4mo
AvidReader25 @Anna40 Exactly. I stopped reading as soon as I got to the part. I was just not interested in reading about that in detail. Nope. 4mo
25 likes5 comments
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JamieArc
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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#WeekendReading
Started Dune and We Begin last week and plan to start the other two today.

Andrew65 Great choice. Thinking of reading Dune. 7mo
Cathythoughts I stacked the tagged book earlier ... sounds good 👍 7mo
47 likes2 comments
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JillR
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

So good! This story culminates in an impossible love triangle. Before that, it slowly drifts back and forth through Eleanor‘s life; her childhood, her parents, the places. The timeline is disjointed but it works. It shocks and slowly, slowly pulls you in. Gripping, dark and clever, and sometimes very uncomfortable to read, ultimately I loved this story of love, friendship, guilt and families. And the ending!

Cathythoughts Great review and lovely picture. You make me want to read this one 👍stacked 7mo
TrishB Stacked too 👍🏻 (edited) 7mo
JillR @trishb @cathythoughts it‘s a good one! Although I did read some negative reviews as there are themes of abuse throughout which isn‘t that clear from the blurb, just in case that‘s a no go for you xx 7mo
42 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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MyNamesParadise
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

Read this one bc it was a Reese‘s Book Club pick. It was a good read. Although I wouldn‘t call it a page turner like reviews said. Trigger warning for rape and sexual abuse. Also, the ending of the book was flat for me, like it just ended. Not sure I‘d be in a hurry to pick up something else by this author. Finished reading it on Dec. 4th. I‘m behind on my Litsy reviews!

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BethHagey
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
Pickpick

*****

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candc320
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Mehso-so

I really don‘t know what to say about this one. I really disliked all of the characters and felt like it was excessively vulgar at times when it didn‘t need to be (I‘m not prudish at all, it just seemed graphic at times when it didn‘t call for it). The narrator was fine and I can see why some people like it (the writing is lyrical at times) but I found it super depressing with just the worst sorts of people. 🌟🌟🌟 #bookspinbingo 👇🏻

candc320 Cont‘d: #averymerrybingo (prompt Hard Candy Christmas), #christmasmyway, and #averymerryreadathon (edited) 8mo
TheSpineView Bummer! 8mo
Jadams1776 📚🎄🎉 8mo
DieAReader 🎉🎉 8mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 8mo
21 likes5 comments
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MotherOfCats
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Trying to finish one more before the end of the year #36 #ByeBye2021

Chelsea.Poole I really liked this one 8mo
MotherOfCats I don‘t get answers?! 🤦🏻‍♀️ 8mo
8 likes2 comments
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GHABI4ROSES
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Forgot the points part: 1402 for week 3
#mistletoemaniacs

DieAReader 🎉🎉🎉🎉 8mo
Clwojick Oh my gosh! What a cutie! And way to go. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 8mo
10 likes2 comments
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GHABI4ROSES
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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#MistletoeManiacs #WinterGames #ReadAThon #ChristmasMyWay

The ReadAThons to tag would take up 2+ posts, so I am posting a summary. This week was lots of crafts, Christmas-themed shows, and then finally got back into pages with a TBR revamp. Still writing, too. Love and appreciate you, Littens. Amanda can testify. Any prayer warriors are invited for a lift up. Merry Christmas, happy belated Hanukkah, happy holidays. Been a year for us, folks.

Andrew65 A lovely post 🥰 8mo
TheSpineView 👍📖🎄👍😊🥰 8mo
DieAReader Beautiful fam👰🏻 Love you🥰♥️ 8mo
Clwojick ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 8mo
9 likes4 comments