Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Il palazzo di carta” as Want to Read:
Il palazzo di carta
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Il palazzo di carta

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  175,084 ratings  ·  13,873 reviews
Una bracciata dopo l'altra, il viso esce dall'acqua per cercare aria e poi torna a inabissarsi. Elle adora nuotare davanti alla casa di famiglia a Cape Cod. Ma quel giorno è diverso dagli altri. Perché Elle la sera prima ha fatto una scelta che ha cambiato tutto. Ha fatto l'amore con Jonas, l'uomo che, se le cose fossero andate diversamente tanti anni prima, ora sarebbe il ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 19th 2022 by Garzanti (first published July 6th 2021)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Il palazzo di carta, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ruth Oliver
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Liz I think through her Mother's advice about the swim with the forgiveness and a place for sorrow she gave her daughter + the birds ability to fly backwa…moreI think through her Mother's advice about the swim with the forgiveness and a place for sorrow she gave her daughter + the birds ability to fly backwards she is allowing herself to go back to the girl she was.
I think seeing her husband with the kids the night before showed her they would be alright - that his love for them would never alter and he would always be there for them ( unlike her father for her).
I think setting her wedding ring on the step was her commitment to Jonas and letting him know she was choosing him.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  175,084 ratings  ·  13,873 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Il palazzo di carta
Elyse  Walters
WOW!!!!!! Review to follow - must get outside - sit with my thoughts — but a very strong 5 stars -


Many books are page turners….we love them right?
“The Paper Palace”, is more than a page turner….
it’s an IV being pumped into your veins like a drug!
Personally— I LOVED IT!!!
Not everyone will.
Beware….of taboo scenes: sex, lies, cheating, rape, incest, …..but it would be a shame —IMO if this book was labeled and categorized as the naughty-distasteful- book - because it’s NOT!
I doubt ev
Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️
"'Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backward...'
...'If I could fly backward, I would,' I said...
...And he said, as he always did, 'I know..'"

This was just beautiful.

I thought it was beautiful before I even got to the above quote...and then I loved it all that much more. I LOVE hummingbirds so much I have some tattooed on my body. But I digress.

If you have followed me for any length of time, you will know my reading tastes have evolved and changed a lot over the last 2-3 years...Mess
Nov 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
oof. this story hits hard.

i honestly had zero expectations going into this. the only reason i picked it up was because the synopsis sounds like something taylor jenkins reid would write, so i was intrigued. and let me tell you what. this is a life story.

im a sucker for childhood sweethearts, so i was 100% ready to see where the hookup would lead. but as i got to see how elle and jonas knew each other, the directions their lives went, the spouses they each married, and all of the little things th
Jun 12, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley and Riverhead Books for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I'll post that review upon publication.

TW*: rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and incest
*Please note that the victims and survivors of these horrors are children and that these topics/related scenes come up repeatedly.

Updated 7/6/21

2.5 stars

This is a well constructed novel born of the descendent of industry royalty (I came to learn in the acknowledgments), but I struggled with severa
Jul 13, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I normally will read a book and just give it stars unless it is something I feel needs to be discussed. This book disturbs me in ways that I didn't know a book could. The sex, the emotional abuse, the parental abuse that goes on is one thing, the physical abuse of children and the lack of parental love is a completely different thing. More disturbing than all the above, the fact that this book has been rated so highly across the board. It gives me pause to think of the society we are becoming wh ...more
Sharadha Jayaraman
Thank you Netgalley and Penguin for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not sure how I feel about this book, except that I didn't like any of the characters or the life choices they made. I can accept when a story has one or two characters that make dumb decisions or are born to cause calamity, but this book had no good people, they all were dysfunctional in their own ways, vindictive and judgmental (everything that is wrong with our generation today), and would just
Jul 15, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well I've set a record with this one. Sometimes I DNF early, usually around 25%, sometimes before that; but I quit here in the middle of the 3rd sentence. If you are a person who is impressed by overwritten slush, stop reading here and walk away. Or in your preferred langue du commerce, relinquish the tome in your bejeweled, alabaster digits and prance haughtily from this verbose online chamber of literary enlightenment. With your chapeau atilt.
You're welcome.
Anyone who has read my opinion piec
Lindsey Gandhi
I needed some time to figure out how to review this book. And I had to re-read the ending multiple times to see if I could figure it out. The author states in an interview that she was very clear on who Elle chooses. After reading that ending over and over, I’m still not sure. I can guess… but it is not crystal clear like the author says. That is my biggest issue with this book. I don’t like open ended finales if you aren’t leading to a sequel. The other is the multiple timelines. When written c ...more
Jul 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My goodness… I loved this book!
Perfect to read right now too.. A family spending all their summers on Cape Cod… a family that has dealt with some devastating history.
There’s so much more to this story then what the synopsis states.. so many layers much that many of these characters have endured.
You’ll laugh, gasp, feel enraged.. so many emotions.
Perfect read for me!
Oh… and just beautiful descriptions of the land and sea!

Forgot to mention.. go see Elyse’s review of this book.. it sold me!!
Aug 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enthralling book that is beautifully written and fantastically narrated!

The Paper Palace is a rambling house that is set in the backwoods of Cape Code. For every summer of her life Elle and her family have been vacationing there. Now at Fifty years old we see Elle, in the beginning chapter regretting that she has had sex with her childhood friend outside the house while both their spouses were inside during an evening gathering with the families.

I enjoyed the narration a lot. Nan McNamara was
Terrie (trailer-traveling with spotty Wi-Fi) Robinson
"The Paper Palace" by Miranda Cowley Heller is Literary Fiction at its best!

"This house, this place knows all my secrets." ~ Elle Bishop

Fifty-year-old Elle is a happily married wife and mother of three with a life-changing decision to make...

Last night Elle had sex for the first time with her lifelong BFF, Jonas. It happened in the dark, in the backyard while both spouses were inside The Paper Palace.

Elle has always imagined marrying her childhood love, Jonas, but it never happened. She met a
Claire Fuller
I loved this book. The proof (thanks the publisher) had sat on my shelf for far too long, and when I finally pulled it down, I read it in a day and a half, because I couldn't stop. One of those books that I read while walking around the house, attempting to do other things. Published in July.

Every summer Elle goes to 'The Paper Palace' with her family - husband, three children and mother - a series of cabins in the woods on the Cape. She's been going there since she was a child, when she became
Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my…………Some books make you feel alive! They’re literal definition of endorphins trigger lots of positive feelings into your brain! They might also trigger negative feelings but you have to toughen up for confronting them!

This book truly made me thankful because I’m nerd, I’m bookish, I devour books daily and I was born to be this way! And I’m so thankful to read it! It was one of the BEST READS of the year.

I’ll need few hours… maybe a day to gather my thoughts… my more detailed review will c
Gasp! Did she or didn't she?

Ooh, this is a tough one to review. A rustic summer family retreat. The cabin, woods, and pond/sea. Elle is married and a mother. She couldn't shake off that bond she has with a childhood summer love.

The story takes you back to when Elle was a child then with the style of alternating timeline. I like the writing, and vivid description of the place. There are heavy subjects of sexual abuse and adultery. After a while, this felt long. I do like the characters despite
Right after finishing the audio of “The Paper Palace”, I restarted from the beginning. It was so good. I was concerned that I missed things since I didn’t read it. Author Miranda Cowley Heller is an incredible writer, creating lush sentences and gorgeous dialogues. I ultimately decided to get the book as well. I NEED to read it. But as I gave it a second go in listening, I am grateful that I did the audio. Nan McNamara is suburb in her narrating skills, especially with her narrating Wallace, the ...more
Oct 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title makes me think of a house of cards. As one falls, the whole thing begins to tumble.
Yet, this is a summer house in Cape Cod. A place of history for 50 year old Elle, who relives a lifetime in 24 hours after a sexual interlude with her oldest friend, while her husband and 3 children are inside. A life with an altering event early on, that changed the course of her path.
A layered story of stories within this family. The sacrifices made to keep each other happy; the selfishness of poor dec
Nov 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't mean to read two books in one month that concern infidelity, but here I am thanks to library waitlists. In both books the woman is married with kids, but both their husbands are very different and the woman's ultimate decision are also different, and not in the way you would perhaps expect given their relative marital happiness or lack thereof.

This book jumps straight into the act of the infidelity itself, so if you 're looking for a book that makes you feel somewhat ok about it first
Erica Zutz
Jul 13, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Molly Roach
Jul 24, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bad, 2021
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
(CW: child sexual violence, rape)

This is the worst book I’ve ever read. There is not one redeeming thing I can ever write. First of all, the author commits well over half of this book to the child r*pe storyline. Within the first 30 pages there is an extremely graphic depiction of child s*xual violence. There are other graphic instenses of CSV peppered through out. Now, I study sexual violence. I have read countless books - fiction and nonfiction - that
Elizabeth Jackson
This writing is lovely but everyone in this book is such a terrible person.
This was kinda a rough read. 😬 It’s good, but hard at times too. 🛑Caution: rated R 🛑Trigger warnings: sexual abuse and rape. Told on multiple timelines, this was an emotional roller coaster. I honestly had to look up the actual ending, to see if my interpretation was correct. 😉
Crystal Craig
Be sure to visit my Favorites Shelf for the books I found most entertaining.

NEW FAVORITE 💚 I always know I thoroughly enjoy a book because I have very little to say when it's time to review. This book was phenomenal. I love the back-stories of the characters—so well thought out. The ending was rather abrupt, which somewhat bothered me but not enough to lower my rating. A Must Read.
It's a known fact, we eat with our eyes. I read with my eyes. Meaning many times I choose a book based on if the cover catches my eye. When I saw this cover, I was drawn to it. The colors drew me in and I found it intriguing and mysterious. Could just be me. I'm weird. I also think when I see that chocolate chip cookie it's better for me than that kale salad. Anyway. I grabbed the audio based on the cover, knowing nothing about it. I asked Dana if she was up for a buddy read and off we went. And ...more
Jul 10, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
Absolutely not. Sexual child abuse is a hard no. Didn’t even make it to chapter 3.
Oct 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, library
3.5 stars, rounded up
“In my mother’s family, divorce was just a seven letter word.”
The book starts at a dinner party, with Eleanor having just had sex with her best friend, Jonas, outside. I’ll admit, this start just threw me for a loop. This is a woman, married, with kids. Oh, and her husband was at the dinner party. Then we get flashbacks to her childhood. Her grandmother had multiple husbands, her mother, the same. Her father, likewise, remarried several times. To be honest, I lost count of
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
After having a fail with everyone else’s summer fave Seven Days In June I had sworn myself off of Reese’s Book Club picks. I thought I could easily pass up The Paper Palace after taking a gander at the blurb that talked about how these two married people snuck out of a family dinner while on vacation to bang because no thank you very much. But then people were commenting that it was disturbing and well . . . . .

It don’t take much more than a house on the cover or the word “disturbing” to ma
Natalie "Curling up with a Coffee and a Kindle" Rampling
I was so looking forward to this one, after seeing such high review ratings.
Firstly, the writing is breathtaking. It is so well written, I feel harsh giving it 3 stars.
But for me, the plot didn't hold up to much scrutiny. It was too much of a slow burn for me and I have a strong need for an eventful story, that consumes me and keeps me engaged. I didn't care for the characters and the decisions they made.
There were so many sex scenes, I felt like I was reading Fifty Shades at times. They just
Olivia Palak
Jul 23, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
You lost me when the bug touched the nipple. Couldn’t do it.
Lou (nonfiction fiend)
The Paper Palace is 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. When the novel opens, it is 6:30 am, present day. Elle Bishop, a fifty-something happily married mother of three, wakes at dawn and heads down to the pond for her morning swim. She is staying at her mother’s summer camp, nicknamed “The Paper Palace”, on a fresh-water kettle pond in the backwoods of Cape Cod. As ...more
I knew early on I was going to like this book, I tried really hard to keep my excitement in check, fearing the novel's quality will go down the hill.
As you can tell from my rating, it didn't. Phew.

Eleanor (Elle) is the narrator of this story. She's fifty, a mother of three, married to a handsome and nice British man. Their life is pretty good. In the shadows, there are unfulfilled desires and longings between childhood friends, who are now adult friends who brought into the mix their signific
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Who does Elle pick? 9 1047 Aug 07, 2022 05:35AM  
Goodreads Choice ...: The Paper Palace - March 18th 21 92 Apr 03, 2022 12:34PM  
YSU, Alumni, PLYM...: April 26 - YSU & PLYMC Book Club Selection: The Paper Palace 1 10 Mar 31, 2022 11:01AM  
Ung i Norrbotten: Papperspalatset 1 8 Mar 18, 2022 05:38AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Bodies of Light
  • The Light at the End of the Day
  • The Crying Book
  • Oświęcim. Czarna zima
  • When the Apricots Bloom
  • Play It As It Lays
  • Felix Ever After
  • Інтернат
  • The Orphan Collector
  • The Henna Artist (The Henna Artist, #1)
  • If I Had Your Face
  • The Project
  • My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson
  • The Glass Woman
  • Salvage the Bones
  • Dear Emmie Blue
  • Czarny świt (Żniwiarz, #5)
  • Sea Monsters
See similar books…
See top shelves…

Articles featuring this book

The book gods, in their infinite kindness, have built second chances into the very structure of the modern distribution business. If you miss...
51 likes · 1 comments
“Does letting go mean losing everything you have, or does it mean gaining everything you never had?” 26 likes
“But it’s what we do, what we’ve done for years now. 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.” 16 likes
More quotes…