Not a big reading week as we had family in town for my son’s 16th birthday…whaaaaat?!?!?
I know I’m not the first to say it, nor will I be the last, but how in the world is that possible??
A whole new set of worries open up as I now begin sleepless nights again and endless worry as I send him out in a vehicle by himself. While I’m quite excited that I don’t have to drive him everywhere, I am also wishing I could turn back time to a small child that it’s much easier to protect.
If you’re a mama of older teenagers, I’d take any and all advice about this new chapter in my motherhood journey!
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
The Paper Palace wasn’t on my radar initially, but I got it in the mail from my Bookshelf Subscription (not an ad or sponsorship, I pay for this service with my own money!) and then I started to see it all over #bookstagram due to Reese Witherspoon choosing it for her July book. The exposure definitely made me move it to the top of my list.
I went into this one completely blind; I didn’t read any reviews and I didn’t read the synopsis. Instead, the story slowly unfolded before me and I’m so glad I didn’t know what I was getting into. This is a very complicated, dark story that explores themes of unrequited love, the damaging effects of secrets, and how certain events can change the course of one’s life.
The writing is beautiful; I’m surprised that this complex story was pulled off by a debut author. Cowley Heller wove two timelines – present day and the fifty years of Elle’s life – seamlessly and I was equally captured by both. As the secrets and darkness are revealed, the story became much more propulsive and compelling. This is not a light beach read; however, this is a great summer read due to the atmospheric setting of Cape Cod in the summer.
I would highly encourage sensitive readers to do some research before picking this one up, but if you can handle difficult topics, I’d recommend going in blind!