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Summary

Before anyone else is awake, on a perfect August morning, Elle Bishop heads out for a swim in the glorious fresh water pond below 'The Paper Palace' - the gently decaying summer camp in the back woods of Cape Cod where her family has spent every summer for generations. 

As she passes the house, Elle glances through the screen porch at the uncleared table from a dinner party the previous evening; empty wine glasses, candle wax on the table cloth, echoes of laughter of family and friends. Then she dives beneath the surface of the freezing water to the shocking memory of the sudden passionate encounter she had the night before, up against the wall outside the house, as her husband and mother chatted to the dinner guests inside.

So begins a story that unfolds over 24 hours and across 50 years, as decades of family legacies, love, lies, secrets and one unspeakable incident in her childhood lead Elle to the precipice of a life-changing decision. Over the next 24 hours, Elle will have to decide between the life she has made with her much-loved husband, Peter, and the life she imagined would be hers with her childhood love, Jonas, if a tragic event hadn't forever changed the course of their lives. 

Tender yet devastating, The Paper Palace is a masterful novel that brilliantly illuminates the tensions between desire and safety; the legacy of tragedy, and the crimes and misdemeanours of families.

©2021 Miranda Cowley Heller (P)2021 Penguin Audio

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