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The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
Literary fiction

The Paper Palace

Debut
We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Miranda Cowley Heller, on your first book!

by Miranda Cowley Heller

Quick take

A perfect summer quickly takes a turn when Elle is forced to choose between her beloved husband or her HS sweetheart.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional

    Emotional

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Buzzy

    Buzzy

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MarriageIssues

    Marriage issues

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MamaDrama

    Mama drama

Synopsis

"This house, this place, knows all my secrets."

It is a perfect July morning, and Elle, a fifty-year-old happily married mother of three, awakens at "The Paper Palace"—the family summer place which she has visited every summer of her life. But this morning is different: last night Elle and her oldest friend Jonas crept out the back door into the darkness and had sex with each other for the first time, all while their spouses chatted away inside. Now, over the next twenty-four hours, Elle will have to decide between the life she has made with her genuinely beloved husband, Peter, and the life she always imagined she would have had with her childhood love, Jonas, if a tragic event hadn't forever changed the course of their lives. As Heller colors in the experiences that have led Elle to this day, we arrive at her ultimate decision with all its complexity. Tender yet devastating, The Paper Palace considers the tensions between desire and dignity, the legacies of abuse, and the crimes and misdemeanors of families.

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