March 05

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

No one else is awake when Elle goes for a swim in the pond below her family’s holiday cabin in Cape Cod. As she swims, she reflects on the night before, when she had hot sex with her childhood crush against the back wall, while her husband, mother and children chatted away inside. A pretty saucy start, I admit.

So begins a story that takes place over 24 hours with flashbacks going back 50 years involving family, life-changing romances and profound childhood traumas.

Over the next 24 hours, Elle has to decide between the life she has made with her adoring husband and the boy she has been devoted to since she was a child. A decision made all the more difficult/interesting by the racy moves they are both making on her on their joint family holiday.

A lot of people are talking about The Paper Palace and I get it. It’s romantic fiction without the stereotypes, featuring cool characters, an interesting structure, a moody Cape Cod setting and buckets of sexual tension. It’s also got a Netflix series written all over it…..not bad for a debut novel.

So what’s my 2 cents? If you are someone that likes a bit of romantic fiction, go and grab this one now. If however, you are like me and on a mission to read more serious stuff in 2022, then consider this an enjoyable little dalliance.