Reese’s July 2021 Book Club Pick is The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

by Heather Caliendo
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Reese’s July 2021 book club pick is in!

How’s you reading year going so far? How many books have you read from Reese Witherspoon’s book club picks? I’ve read them all so far this year (which you can find on the site) and there are definitely some hits and misses. But for the most part, I think she has selected some interesting choices.

Reese’s July 2021 Book Club Pick

Reese’s July 2021 book club pick is The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller. This one has a ton of blurbs from famous authors such as Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of Good Company (while I liked The Nest by her; I personally DNF Good Company) and Nick Hornby, author of Just Like You. The cover is pretty and I’m partial to a contemporary summer setting. But apparently this plot revolves around an affair, which I’m not too thrilled about that. Here’s the synopsis:

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.

Initial Thoughts

Meh. The synopsis is not drawing me in. On first glance, it reminds me of so many other basic contemporary fiction stories out there. The affair sounds ick and not sure what I think about ‘tender yet devastating.’ That could mean this truly is an impactful read or it could try too hard to pull at your heartstrings.

Something of note is that the author has worked as senior vice president and head of drama series at HBO so I wouldn’t be surprised if Reese is already working to develop this one into a TV series like Big Little Lies. She might even cast herself in the lead role.

So we’ll see. Maybe this is a great work of fiction or it could be too dramatic. I’m going to read it and will report back! Let me know if you plan to read it as well.

Click here to order The Paper Palace on Amazon.

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1 comment

Susan September 17, 2021 - 10:37 am

As an adult did Elle work? How is it, she always had money to fly to England and buy an expensive wedding dress & shoes.

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