I picked up The Paper Palace in the airport this summer when I had approximately 2.3 seconds to decide on my next vacation read. It had Reese’s Book Club seal of approval and a glance at the back cover both made it sounds promising. Well, the old saying goes – you certainly can’t judge a book by its cover. Or the seal. Or the synopsis. I found this one sorely disappointing – full of lies, deceit and dysfunction across generations. I’ve enjoyed other dark, dysfunctional stories but this one just hit me wrong. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
It is a perfect August 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.
What’s on your bedside?
DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED