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The Paper House

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The Paper House

Anna Spargo-Ryan

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“Gorgeously written and genuinely assured, The Paper House is a moving and viscerally real portrait of family bonds pushed to their limits … Anna Spargo-Ryan is a rising star.” Jo Case, author of Boomer and Me: A memoir of motherhood, and Asperger’s

And then I was pregnant, and we realised we had no space for a baby.

We looked at all kinds of houses: big, new ones with columns and render; little cottages with beaten weatherboard; a yellow brick monstrosity with a paved yard where there should have been grass. But we were drawn to the rolling water. And our heart stayed behind when we left. Heather and Dave have found the perfect place to raise their first child. The house has character, but it’s the garden that really makes it: red-faced impatiens, pockmarked gums, six upright pittosporums to keep the neighbours out. It’s a jungle. A hiding place. A refuge. And then, without warning, that life is over. Heartbreaking, fearless, and ablaze with a coruscating beauty all its own, The Paper House tells the story of a woman sinking into the depths of grief, and the desperate efforts of her loved ones to bring her up for air. A sharp-eyed, bittersweet depiction of the love between parents and children, and the havoc that love can wreak.


“A deeply compassionate novel. It smashed and then repaired my heart a hundred times over, somehow managing to be both intensely, vividly sad and wildly, gorgeously hopeful.” Emily Maguire, author of An Isolated Incident “A wild, brave and moving debut” Stephanie Bishop, author of The Other Side of the World

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