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The Paper Palace

de Miranda Cowley Heller

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MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,4154913,185 (3.65)38
"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. Set against the summer backwoods and beaches of Cape Cod, The Paper Palace unfolds over 24 hours and across 50 years, as decades of family legacy, love, lies, secrets, and one unspeakable childhood tragedy lead wife and mother Elle Bishop to the precipice of a life-changing decision. With its transporting setting and propulsive pace, the story draws on the sweet promise of young love, as well as the heartbreaking damage incurred by too many secrets. It's a compulsively readable story about the tensions between the romantic childhood ideals we grow up with, and the family responsibilities that carry us into adulthood. Must our life choices remain irrevocable if the conditions are changed? 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, because 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 24 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"--… (mais)
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Inglês (47)  Alemão (1)  Todos os idiomas (48)
Mostrando 1-5 de 48 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I really liked this book. I liked the way the present covers a single day, hour by hour, while the backstories are told more traditionally. I thought the modern-day relationships were very well portrayed...this book felt very real to me.

This a story about family relationships and the effects of trauma. It is complex, like life. Sometimes love isn't enough. Choices are usually far less clear than right or wrong. Or they are both. Lots to think about. ( )
  LynnB | Apr 22, 2024 |
“High above the tallest dune, a star appears in the sky, faint at first, then gaining strength until it becomes a brilliant jewel. And yet I know it is death I am seeing. The flickering out. The silent gasp. The sputtering beauty. A desperate flame—massive, transcendent—fighting for its last breath” (294).

This is a story about characters that are like dazzling, dying stars—beautiful and tragic and impossible not to watch their bright deaths streak across an obsidian sky. This is a story about star-crossed lovers. Like Catherine and Heathcliff, Elle and Jonas’s souls are made of the same: hummingbird feathers and underwater kisses and pine-needle-carpeted forest floors. With a shared history—filled with innocence and connection and shame and guilt and secrets—they are woven together, different ends from the same skein, threaded and knotted together despite difficult life choices that keep them apart.

Told in four parts, in dual timelines—past and today—Eleanor’s story unravels from multicolored yarn, each thread revealing how she gets to be a fifty-year-old happily married woman with three children who must deal with outcomes of a one-night affair she’s just had with Jonas, the love of her life. Through the untangling of her story, we watch pieces come together, secrets and revelations buried deep beneath the sand dunes of the Cape and the sewers of the city asphalt, things too dirty and tainted and rotted, tugged out from the shadows and unmasked enough for Elle to make a final impossible choice: “One [she] can’t have. One [she doesn’t] deserve to have” (355).

Page-turner isn’t the right term. This story is more than that. This is a story you get caught in, wrapped up tightly in—sometimes it feels like a warm blanket, others like the eye of a storm. Regardless, it’s a story so immersive, so emotive that these characters will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
( )
  lizallenknapp | Apr 20, 2024 |
Although entirely readable, this was a book I felt uncertain about from the word go. Not because it's written in the voice of a woman who, despite being happily married, can't let go of thinking about a future with her childhood sweetheart, her very best friend. Perhaps there was too much going on? A capricious mother who's got through any number of husbands; a deeply unhappy stepbrother who's a rapist; a snobbish and unsympathetic mother-in-law; a blow-cold-and-hot relationship with an older sister; an uncomfortable-to-account-for accidental death? And the sweetheart? That's a lot.
The time line - successfully - alternates between an almost hour-by-hour account of just one day, spent at Elle's slightly ramshackle family holiday home near the coast, and a resume of the fifty-some years of her life. I liked the ending. It's clear that the ends are not tied up. There are hints that the drama we have been following has not been fully resolved, and will go on to further scenes, possibly over an extended period. ( )
  Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
Wow, there is a lot to unpack here. The Paper Palace is one of those Jodi Picoult-style (think very detailed) books where you can see, taste, and feel every. single. thing. Miranda Cowley Heller writes a beautiful book about Elle and her family.

We follow Elle throughout her life as she hops from one time to another in a mostly seamless way (but occasionally, in the beginning, I couldn't keep straight if we were in today's Elle life or her younger Elle life).

The Paper Palace is the main cabin, with a few outlying cabins that have been in Elle's family for generations. The Paper Palace holds all of Elle's fondest and worst memories. It's where Elle and her big sister Anna argued and would come back together; it's where Elle met Jonnas, her lifelong love, it's where Elle takes her husband Peter and their children every year to join her mother for vacation; it's where Elle lost her innocence.

There is so much to love about this book; the writing is superb, it just flows, and you know Elle, Jonnas, Peter, Elle's mother, and all the other characters intimately. (I love Elle's mother - she's truly a bitch, but one of those that is also so endearing you just can't hate her, most the time.)

Rich with family dynamics, I thoroughly enjoyed navigating life with Elle in The Paper Palace. ( )
  LyndaWolters1 | Apr 3, 2024 |
The books takes place over twenty-four hours. In between there are little glimpses into the lives of Elle or her mother from the past. Each of them seems to have to do with sex or sexual innuendo. Seemed totally unnecessary to me. Not sure what to think of the ending. ( )
  dara85 | Mar 26, 2024 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Miranda Cowley Hellerautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
McNamara, NanNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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For Lukas and Felix, my own two loves

And for my grandmother Muriel Maurer Cowley
whose fierce love never wavered
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"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. Set against the summer backwoods and beaches of Cape Cod, The Paper Palace unfolds over 24 hours and across 50 years, as decades of family legacy, love, lies, secrets, and one unspeakable childhood tragedy lead wife and mother Elle Bishop to the precipice of a life-changing decision. With its transporting setting and propulsive pace, the story draws on the sweet promise of young love, as well as the heartbreaking damage incurred by too many secrets. It's a compulsively readable story about the tensions between the romantic childhood ideals we grow up with, and the family responsibilities that carry us into adulthood. Must our life choices remain irrevocable if the conditions are changed? 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, because 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 24 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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