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`Hugely enjoyable' John Boyne `Contemporary family drama at its most compelling, and with a brutally exquisite ending' Nathan Filer `I couldn't put it down till I was done' Nikita Lalwani Arnold Proctor's quiet life is thrown off balance when he falls obsessively in love with Vera, a religious woman and one of his wife's friends. Vera seems untroubled by her wrongdoing, yet faithless Arnold is wracked with guilt. He has never believed in God, but now he wonders if he truly believes in anything at all? Polly makes handcrafted paper, and even though the age of paper is dead, she runs a successful shop selling her exquisite products. Polly is secure and happy in her life, until the day her husband Arnold makes a very uncharacteristic declaration. The Paper Lovers is a devastating story of sexual, religious and artistic obsession. It is about love and betrayal, and what becomes of us after our greatest certainties have been shattered.
The pains and perils of adultery are brilliantly exposed in this haunting novel. * The Times, The 100 best books to read this summer * Gerard Woodward is one of our finest writers . . . he writes with subtlety and skill * Daily Telegraph * Woodward is an agile writer * TLS * A closely observed allegory of obsession and redemption * Guardian * An immensely clever, tense, troubling and satisfying book, with so many little chambers of interest and so many huge issues subtly handled. -- Jim Crace, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Harvest A mordantly ironic novel . . . Paper, we're reminded at one point, has an edge, and there are plenty of those to Woodward's discomforting tale * Daily Mail * The wry truths that Woodward teases from the ensuing identity crises are universal in their poignancy * Mail on Sunday * An unsettling tale of passion, faith and identity . . . Woodward has always been a keen observer of the family dynamic and here he deals confidently with love, marriage, betrayal and suburban stasis . . . the way in which Woodward navigates these choppy waters is engrossing * Observer * Woodward's prose has a rare and wondrous texture that comes from his ongoing play between the comedic and tragic moments of his characters' lives. The Paper Lovers is a beautifully wrought narrative with a devastating ending - an intimate exploration of requited and unrequited desire in all its forms. I couldn't put it down till I was done, and then I wanted to laugh and cry all at once, at the sheer absurdity of being human. An epic novel that should draw comparisons with Greene's The End of the Affair. -- Nikita Lalwani, author of The Village What really makes this book so impressive and enjoyable is the writing, whether it is Woodward's occasional tongue-in-cheek similes or his convincing insights into all manner of things * Sunday Times * Hugely enjoyable, a unique love story that's both witty and poignant. -- John Boyne, author of The Heart's Invisible Furies Among his many gifts is Woodward's extraordinary skill in taking all the big themes - sex, truth, faith, obsession, existential crisis, the works! - and wrapping them up with such deft lightness of touch that the pages all but turn themselves. This is contemporary family drama at its most compelling, and with a brutally exquisite ending. -- Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall Beautifully written novel about marital infidelity from a Booker-shortlistee * Sunday Times, Must Reads *