Book Buzz: The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

“It felt as if I read The Paper Palace in one go.” ―Nina Stibbe



A story of summer, secrets, love, and lies: in the course of a singular day on Cape Cod, one woman must make a life-changing decision that has been brewing for decades.


“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.

“The Paper Palace turned out to be the very page-turner I needed. If you want to learn something about love over a long time―how it can hurt, how it can soar―read this book.”
―Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

400 Pages

ISBN 9780593329825


Miranda Cowley Heller has worked as senior vice president and head of drama series at HBO, developing and overseeing such shows as The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Deadwood, and Big Love, among others. This is her first novel. She grew up spending summers on Cape Cod, and now lives in California.