At forty-one, Juanita Lewis is running away from home, courtesy of a one-way ticket to Montana, a place that seems about as far away from the violence and poverty of the Columbus, Ohio, projects as the moon. She wants adventure and excitement — if such things exist for a pre-menopausal African American woman with three grown, deadbeat children.
Juanita’s new life in Paper Moon, Montana, begins at a local diner where a culinary face-off with chef and owner Jess Gardiner finds Juanita in front of Jess’s stove serving up home cookin’ that lures the townsfolk like a magic spell. And suddenly Juanita, who was just passin’ through, now has a job by popular demand.
Out here in this wide-open space, Juanita’s heart can no longer hide, especially when she sees herself through the eyes of the wonderful and eccentric people of this down-to-earth town. She’s happy in Paper Moon; she’s found a home, but can she stay? And then there’s Jess. She has always dreamed of romance, but she never planned on falling in love.