Aussie Author Challenge Book Reviews

Book Review: The Paper House #AussieAuthorChallenge

The Paper House is a debut novel by Australian author Anna Spargo-Ryan. Heather is expecting her first child with her husband, Dave and they prepare for a life as parents by buying a beautiful house. As they wait for the baby to arrive, tragedy strikes. A grieving Heather cannot find comfort in their beautiful new house after losing a child she was yearning to see. As Heather attempts to come to terms with her loss, her relationships are strained as is her grip on reality.

Spargo-Ryan’s debut is a literary haven as she follows Heather’s spiral after her child’s stillbirth. While personally I have never had to experience that, Spargo-Ryan’s words pull you into Heather’s world and her mind. As readers, we are privy to Heather’s imagined world intertwined with the real world. Her husband Dave suffers quietly as he tries his best to see the light in his wife’s eyes. There is her brusque sister Fleur, her lovely neighbours Ashok and Sylvia, her father who attempts to reconnect with her, and flashbacks to her childhood where we get glimpses of her mother’s struggle with mental illness. Finally, there is the mysterious Noel who she imagines living in the bottoms of her garden. Amidst all of them is the house with the garden itself, another character in its own right.

This is an impressive debut by Anna Spargo-Ryan. I read it months ago but sadly have only just found the time to write a review. In spite of not being a parent or suffering such a loss, it was not hard to empathise with Heather’s loss. Spargo-Ryan perfectly shows us the characters through their little quirks and idiosyncrasies than tell us about them. Her prose has a lyrical quality to it and as a reader, you are drawn into the world of The Paper House.

My rating:

Where you can find the book:

Amazon Kindle | Booktopia

***Read and reviewed as part of the Aussie Author Challenge by Jo and the Outdo Yourself Challenge by Corinne***

Until next time,


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  • J.Gi Federizo
    7 December 2016 at 8:04 pm

    This maybe something that I would not like to read in a loooooong while. I experienced child loss, twice. It becomes harder to deal with.

    Thanks for sharing, though.
    J.Gi Federizo recently posted…November 2016 RECAP #MonthlyRecapMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      7 December 2016 at 8:06 pm

      So sorry to hear that. You’re right about possibly not reading this in that case as it would hit a bit too close to home. Xx

      • J.Gi Federizo
        13 December 2016 at 1:47 pm

        Will probably read someday. A good book is a good book after all. 🙂