Paper Man


Cape Cod. It’s the blustery and bleak mid-winter. New England’s summertime playground for affluent week-enders is a cold and deserted series of seaside silences. No place for the lost or the lonely. Which is bad news for Richard Dunne. He’s both.

After the spectacular failure of his first novel, Richard’s got something to prove. He moves into a rented house in Wellfleet, MA, for one last attempt to produce literature. But Richard’s not good with pressure.

Left alone, while his wife Claire commutes between the house and her high-stress position at Mass General Hospital, Richard is reduced to the sum of his obsessions: there’s his best friend, a world-weary Superhero who’s lived in Richard’s head since childhood; there’s the American Heath Hen, an extinct chicken who died out nearly a century ago and may be the main character in the new novel; and there’s the desperate need to master the ancient Japanese art of Origami.

And then there’s Abby. She’s a 17-year-old local girl who sees something in Richard no one else ever has. Maybe it’s because she loved his first novel. Or maybe it’s because she recognizes in him a certain kind of loneliness that’s the same as hers. In him, Abby finds a safe place for the secret that has shaped her life. In her, Richard finds the most unimaginable thing of all: a friend. And together they learn how to let go and how to go on.

Paper Man tells the story of one lonely man’s tenuous first steps toward connecting with the world. Of a young girl’s first experience of love unfettered and undamaged. Of a 42-year-old’s attempt at growing up and a 17-year-old’s first taste of youth. It’s a story of friendship. And beginning. Because sometimes the biggest steps in a life are the smallest ones.

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