A breathtaking, unputdownable literary debut about one woman’s impossible choice between her husband and her first love
Elle Bishop, a fifty-something happily married mother of three, wakes at dawn and heads down to the pond for her morning swim. She is staying at her mother’s summer camp, nicknamed “The Paper Palace”, on a fresh-water pond in Cape Cod. As Elle plunges naked into the bracing water, she thinks about what she has done the night before: how, in the middle of her mother’s dinner party, she and her oldest friend Jonas crept out the back door into the darkness and had frantic, breath-taking sex for the first time while their spouses chatted inside.
Over the next 24 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 Jonas, if only they hadn’t had to carry the shame of a tragic event in their childhood, a long-buried act that rises to the surface after fifty years, and threatens to tear everything apart…