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The Paper Palace
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
"This house, this place, knows all my secrets." 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. 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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review
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! 5d
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. 5d
22 likes2 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. 2w
Cathythoughts I stacked the tagged book earlier ... sounds good 👍 2w
46 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 2w
TrishB Stacked too 👍🏻 (edited) 2w
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 2w
41 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) 3w
TheSpineView Bummer! 3w
Jadams1776 📚🎄🎉 3w
DieAReader 🎉🎉 3w
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 3w
20 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 3w
MotherOfCats I don‘t get answers?! 🤦🏻‍♀️ 3w
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 🎉🎉🎉🎉 1mo
Clwojick Oh my gosh! What a cutie! And way to go. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 1mo
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 🥰 1mo
TheSpineView 👍📖🎄👍😊🥰 1mo
DieAReader Beautiful fam👰🏻 Love you🥰♥️ 1mo
Clwojick ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 1mo
8 likes4 comments
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LeslieO
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Almost finished the tagged book but went to see Pretty Woman last night (very cute) so I‘ll try to finish it tonight. So much to read in December!

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LeslieO
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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One chapter in and I‘m loving it! Also enjoying my first tea from the Advent calendar, Merry Mistletoe. #afternoonreading #teaandbooks

43 likes1 stack add
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peaknit
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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This one has gotten wildly mixed and somewhat negative reviews from three of my friends so I‘m a little apprehensive but I‘m going in…

JenReadsAlot It's on my list so curious what you think. 3mo
peaknit @JenReadsAlot Geri gave it 3 ✨, Tracey bailed and Christine gave it 2✨, so I am curious also. I‘ll get back to you. 3mo
peaknit @JenReadsAlot I actually liked it a lot. It was painful but also good in a heartbreaking way. 3mo
23 likes1 stack add3 comments
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GinaKButler
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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New book with a side of baseball. Since the Rays are out, Go Braves!

#bookspinbingo

Kappadeemom Yes!!! I agree ❤️❤️ 3mo
20 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Ahw06
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

I liked this book but feel like it‘s going to be hard to review. The whole time, you‘re waiting for Elle to make her choice and yet you‘re left on the last page, still not knowing for sure who she chose. In my opinion, the ending didn‘t do the story justice.
TW- rape, incest
3.5⭐️

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

Liked this book very much! The setting of Cape Cod summers over many years is described so beautifully. The MC is in love with two men and you see how those relationships evolve over her life. Recommend!

75 likes1 stack add
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veebib
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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"We drag our past behind us like a weight, still shackled but far enough back that we never have to see, never have to openly acknowledge who we once were."

5 likes1 stack add
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sharread
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Bailedbailed

The timeline was super annoying to me. It beebopped all over the place. I'm not sure if that's a word but I think it fits my thoughts on it.

Wife It‘s a word in my book🤓 4mo
46 likes1 comment
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Redhead_reads
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

Very much a page turner! I lost sleep finishing this one up!

46 likes2 comments
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emmaturi
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

I very much liked this book. I liked how it went back in time to explain Elle's childhood and also the relationship between her parents, her sister and her oldest friend Jonas. The present day timeline is over only 24 hours, but there is lots going on. Set on their family's place on Cape Cod, which sounds lovely. I was completely drawn in with the writing.

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

Elle‘s life unfolds over fifty years against one 24 hour period when she has to decide her future. Her history is fascinating and detailed. The characters are developed so well and you will feel all of their emotions. Loved this book.

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akfreeborn
Paper Palace | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this family saga told over both a day on a remote part of Cape Cod and through the years of this family chronologically. I thought Heller told her story beautifully. I found it hard to put down.

29 likes1 stack add
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emmaturi
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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These are my #lastcurrentnext reads.

30 likes1 stack add
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MaggieCarr
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Mehso-so

Nearly ditched due to all the jumping around but finished. Just a so-so with no lasting emotion after reading even though the array of emotions within hit every single mark. Liked and hated each character, sometimes multiple times and could see discussion led merits but I can't even think of one person I'd recommend this book to. Simply meh.

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MaggieCarr
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Labor(less) Weekend book #2.

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BookBosomed1
Paper Palace | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

📚: This book is about choices and the events that influence our choices. It is about the complexities of adulthood and the impact of our childhood on those complexities.😬: there were parts of the book that made me cringe. See 🛑. ✍️: Overall, this book got under my skin. I loved it & balked at it. I felt the MC‘s yearning, anxiety, pain, and uncertainty. I devoured it. Also, that ending! 🛑: incest, rape, infidelity, death

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

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This story crawled under my skin. Multiple passages felt like a gut punch. My heart would race, break, and yearn along with Elle‘s. I had no idea how it would end, or even how I wanted it to end, which speaks to its deeply layered, painful, and beautiful complexity. It won‘t be for everyone (check trigger warnings), but for me, it was pure magic! #reesesbookclub

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

Not sure about this one… I thought it had some especially gross imagery, even when describing mundane and innocent things and unfortunately, I really was not convinced of her love for either man. I wish she would have given us more background of Jonas and Elle‘s actual relationship rather than just constantly tell us how magical it was.

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

I just finished this one and I don‘t know how I feel. While I found myself drawn in by the story, I also found myself bothered by the story. There‘s so many disturbing things that happen. And that ending…I'm so confused!

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steffakish
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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review
JulieAly
Paper Palace | Miranda Cowley Heller
Mehso-so

This wasn‘t my favorite read but it was terrible.

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

This book was far from the ho-hum Cape Cod WASP drama I was expecting. It was shocking & real. I feel wrong saying I loved a book that openly tackles such painful subject matter. Heller shows great understanding of the obstacles people tend to face in later adulthood that lead them to questioning their choices & reflecting on the past. She creates characters that are flawed, broken, & believable.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

⚠️Trigger Warning-Rape sexual abuse incest

Chelsea.Poole Pretty photo 🌞 and I loved this book too! 5mo
FelinesAndFelonies @Chelsea.Poole Reese's picks are very hit or miss for me. I was glad this one hit the mark. 🎯 5mo
75 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Twocougs
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

A page turner it definitely is. Great writing! Disturbing in parts. Overall a good read but the ending…

BookBosomed1 I just finished this. The ending…😳🤨 5mo
Desha I just finished it last week...in my review I had to mention...the ending! 🤪🤨 5mo
Tiffiney I just finished this one. I was left confused by the ending... 5mo
23 likes3 comments
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FelinesAndFelonies
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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These guys are relentless tonight. Hallow decided it is time for bed. #justonemorechapter #catsoflitsy #catsy #littenskittens #antireadingcrew

RaeLovesToRead Those eyes! 💕 5mo
ShelleyBooksie Adorable 5mo
CoverToCoverGirl My Shady in a nutshell! (edited) 5mo
rabbitprincess 😻😻 pretty eyes! 5mo
74 likes4 comments
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nessadrinkscoffee
Paper Palace | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

Wow. So much to unpack here. Elle comes from a complicated family and trauma filled past that continues to creep on her in adulthood. Definitely a page turner and a unique story filled with emotion!
#thepaperpalace #reesesbookclub

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

I have mixed feelings about this one. The whole book is like a sandpapered, knife‘s edge that is acutely uncomfortable to read. That in itself is an achievement. Plus, there‘s some great funny lines sprinkled through (“she thought the Khmer Rouge was a lipstick color”). But I didn‘t think the time jumps were done well and it was a bit overly deliberately provocative. And the ending pushed me away from calling this a pick.

TrishB That‘s a fab description! 5mo
TheLudicReader I just finished this yesterday and it was 100% a pick for me, but I totally get all the observations you‘ve made here. I could see the cinematic qualities of this book, which makes sense since she was head of drama for HBO. 5mo
Hooked_on_books @TrishB Thank you! 🤗 5mo
58 likes3 comments
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TheLudicReader
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

I loved every second of this book, tbh. Lovely writing, angst out the wazoo, and a page-turner to boot. I know some people will likely take issue with the non-linear plot, and there's definitely some triggery stuff, but I found it refreshing to read about a 50-year-old who has lived a life, and has complicated relationships. It needs to be a limited series stat.

Chelsea.Poole I also loved this. 5mo
35 likes1 comment
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LatrelWhite
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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🎧listening

17 likes1 stack add
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TheLudicReader
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Current reading spot.

Texreader Beautiful 6mo
36 likes1 comment
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kbuggle
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Mehso-so

Not great.
I‘m looking forward to reading more from Cowley Heller, I think the writing is there, but this story and plot was.. not. I slogged through this. There are trigger warnings here for assault, but that wasn‘t what bothered me.. the back and forth in time and the whole story just never came together and felt frustrating.
This cover though.. sucker for a good cover.

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TheBookStacker
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Starting this one! Cant believe my hold came in so fast! Anybody read this yet?

40 likes3 stack adds
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Chelsea.Poole
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

Looks like this may be an #unpopularopinion but I loved this book. May be one of my top reads this year. I was so connected with the characters and though terribleness abounds, the way the author put me right in the scenes was just magical. The setting was perfection and the way some of the sentences landed made such an impact on me. I think Reese got it right!

Hooked_on_books I‘m waiting on this one from the library. I tend to like Reese‘s picks. 6mo
TheLudicReader I just finished this. Couldn't put it down and it was 💯 my jam. 5mo
ICantImReading I just finished this and completely agree, LOVED it. 5mo
94 likes3 comments
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corireadslife
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Mehso-so

Rating: 3.5 Stars 🌟

First of all, this book needs to come with a giant trigger warning. Sensitive topics woven in the timeline that are necessary for the story but very intense to read. I enjoyed the character development and felt that the ending did a good job at tying everything together. Overall, not the best but not the worst.

#ReesesBookclub #ThePaperPalace #BookReview

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Graciouswarriorprincess
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Book 88/150.

Desha What did you think of this book? I‘ve seen mixed reviews and I‘m trying g to decide whether or not to buy it. We are going to Cape Cod for the first time in September so I thought the setting might be interesting. I‘m not a huge fan of infidelity though! ☺️ (edited) 6mo
Graciouswarriorprincess @Desha I liked it but it has a lot of trigger warnings, rape, child abuse, etc. it‘s not an beach read. 6mo
Desha Thank you for telling me! I probably will read it but it helps to know that! 📚♥️ 6mo
Zuhkeeyah I really wanted to like this book. The writing style was lovely and I felt for Elle but just never felt invested when it came to the main decision of the book. (edited) 6mo
36 likes1 stack add4 comments
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jenniferajanes
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

Trigger warning! Be careful with this book if you get triggered. This is the story about secrets and how they change us and our lives as a result. I need to discuss the ending with someone! Help! #Libby #Kindle

Bklover Just read the description- this sounds good! 6mo
jenniferajanes @Bklover Would love to discuss if you read it! 📚 6mo
Chelsea.Poole I just finished this and I need to discuss it too!! 6mo
See All 7 Comments
Chelsea.Poole What do you think happened at the very end?? 6mo
jenniferajanes @Chelsea.Poole Well, I thought she had decided to stay with Peter, but when Jonas was waiting for her across the pond, and she took her rings off, now I‘m confused! What did you think? 6mo
Chelsea.Poole @jenniferajanes yes me too, exactly that! Maybe she stays in the wishy-washy place between the two of them…? It seemed so definite and sure she‘d stay with Peter but then that very end left it like that! I‘ve never had an affair, but I can imagine that‘s a little what it‘s like, trying to decide what to do that is. 6mo
jenniferajanes @Chelsea.Poole Maybe so. 🤷🏼‍♀️ So confusing! I‘m glad I wasn‘t the only one who found it very ambiguous. 6mo
29 likes1 stack add7 comments
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Chelsea.Poole
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Been in a tiny reading slump lately, and I‘m still reading the tagged.
Just an all around despondency I believe is the cause. Had a bit of good news today so I treated myself to a veggie sandwich and a green tea from a cafe I‘ve never been to before. With my book 🥪 📖

MyNamesParadise How‘s the book? I put it on hold at the library after Reese announced it as her pick for July. Glad you‘re getting out of your reading slump! 6mo
DivineDiana It‘s always fun to visit a new place! 6mo
Tamra That looks & sounds like an ideal lunch break! I hope it brightens your day. 6mo
See All 10 Comments
JennyM I hope you can shake the reading slump soon. Look after yourself 😘 6mo
Megabooks I‘m sorry things are blah right now. The good thing about slumps is that they end. The bad thing is waiting them out. 💜😘 6mo
Nute Lunch looks good! I‘ve been in a weird reading pattern for quite awhile as well. I‘ve been finding that poetry is working best for the moment and some non-fiction. It‘s just like Meg ( @Megabooks ) said, it will end one day. We just gotta wait it out.🙂 6mo
Chelsea.Poole @MyNamesParadise I actually like this book thus far. Though, I‘ve read several negative reviews from others. 🤷🏼‍♀️ I love the setting and some of the sentences are 💯 6mo
Chelsea.Poole @DivineDiana agreed! I always love exploring new areas! 6mo
Chelsea.Poole @Nute thank you! I‘ve been finding it difficult to concentrate on much of anything these days. Poetry is a great idea! Thank you! 6mo
101 likes1 stack add10 comments
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Allthebookclubs
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Panpan

This was a book club pick and that‘s the only reason I finished it. I didn‘t like the vulgar/crass sex scenes, this would been a great novel without them. The story starts with adultery and that‘s the theme of the entire book. Just not my cup of tea really. Book 42 in 2021

DivineDiana Too bad. I‘m with you. 🙁 6mo
10 likes1 comment
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KailaSimone
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Spending my weekend with this. So far, a good summer read. TW - this book does include passages involving sexual assault, so just a heads up!