Editorial note: I received a copy of Paper Chains in exchange for a review.
Paper Chains by Nicola Moriarty is an emotional story about friendship, family and secrets.
While the major themes are relatable to all—the story is told in an unique style. It features the present, flashbacks and even major plot points told via letter form.
The story follows Hannah who moved to London from her home country of Australia. We know that she ran away from something and feels tremendous guilt. A chance meeting with fellow Australian India changes everything for Hannah. And India has a secret, too – one beyond any remedy. For it’s a secret that is currently sealed in a love letter and is making its journey across Europe in the most unconventional way—through the hands of strangers as they pass on the street.
Stories that revolve around secrets are typically very engaging as you’re not only getting to know the main characters but also trying to figure out the mystery before the author lets you in. For instance, I had some theories about both Hannah and India’s secrets—I was right about one and way off base with the other. But that’s the fun of these stories! I don’t want to give anything away but I’m pretty curious of the reaction to these secrets. This is for sure an ideal book club read because the secrets alone will lead to much discussion.
I love stories about female friendships—we truly need more of them in the world. In the case of Hannah and India, they couldn’t be more different if they try. Hannah is withdrawn and a bit standoffish. While India is super outgoing and seems like she doesn’t have a worry in the world. But the two learn quite a bit from each other and their lives will never be the same, especially when the past is revealed.
The characters, especially Hannah and India, felt very real and human.
Final thoughts: A thought-provoking, heartbreaking read about two women and a friendship that will change both of their lives forever. For book clubs, click here for my discussion questions.