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Imperfect Bliss: A Novel Hardcover – July 3, 2012


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Imperfect Bliss: A Novel + One Flight Up: A Novel + Always Wear Joy: My Mother Bold and Beautiful
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451623828
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451623826
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fales-Hill channels Jane Austen in a bawdy sendup of today’s landed gentry...but the hilarious hijinks of the Harcourts hide more poignant truths about these strong-willed women. She whips an old-fashioned comedy of manners into a stylish, sharp-edged satire." —Publishers Weekly


"Chick lit with an intellectual streak." —Library Journal

“Convincingly updates Pride and Prejudice for the twenty-first century …the novel’s strength is Bliss, a complicated, thoughtful woman—a feminist raising a princess-obsessed daughter, and a very funny narrator. Issues of racial and economic prejudice add depth to the Austenesque social commentary.” —Booklist

"Imperfect Bliss is the perfect summer read. Susan Fales-Hill, a magnificent storyteller, has written a poignant and piquant comedy of manners that will make Jane Austen fans swoon. Delicious!"
Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife

"Imperfect Bliss is a hoot! Featuring a heroine who becomes entangled in the nutty world of reality TV, it's a fast, fun read." —Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Opposite of Me and These Girls

"If Candace Bushnell and Zadie Smith had a literary love child, the result would be Imperfect Bliss." —Keli Goff, author of The GQ Candidate

"Imperfect Bliss's romantic heroine ultimately finds her epiphany in a journey through family discord, reality TV productions, and a candlelight dinner for two...this is reading as alluring as the best French perfume." —André Leon Talley, Editor At Large, Vogue

About the Author

Susan Fales-Hill is the author of One Flight Up and the acclaimed memoir, Always Wear Joy. A contributing editor at Essence, her writing has also appeared in Vogue, Town & Country, and Travel & Leisure. She lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

It seems a waste of what is a clear ability to craft a plot and a set of characters.
Pasiphae
After page 100+ the story started to finally take shape and I found an interest in what was going on and who was going to end up happy or not.
Book Him Danno
This book needs serious editing and probably should have gone through a few more rewrites.
Malfoyfan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Agnes O'Neil VINE VOICE on July 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Here is what I recommend. Don't read the jacket cover praise. Do download a sample on your Kindle. If you don't have a Kindle, go to the library or the bookstore and open the book to any page, any page at all, and read just one sentence. Once you've read that, you'll understand why I gave it only one star, which is the minimum.

I doubt I can find the correct words to describe the writing, which is so full of predictable clichés and cringe-worthy sentences that it's hard to see past it to the plot line. Calling this "reality TV - Jane Austen style" impugns Austen. To paraphrase Jane, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a bad chick lit book will include vapid characters, overwrought feelings, and overblown prose. To wit, there are 9, count 'em, NINE dedications before the book even starts.

Sheesh. I've read better writing on the side of a bus.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Quinn on April 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Obviously, after reading the product description, I was expecting a fun, light read - despite the Jane Austen references in the description, I knew I was not about to find a serious novel. I did, however, expect to be entertained. In fact the opposite was true. From the moment I began reading, I was desperately hoping for the end to come quickly. Sad clichés and sexist stereotypes abound in this hideous story about a bi-racial family, hovering in the middle-class while desperately seeking ascension to some sort of 'nobility' while the ridiculous matriarch attempts to marry off her three questionably-eligible daughters. The characters are at best unconvincing, and at worst demeaning and offensive caricatures of already unappealing people. Don't waste your time on this one - even the editor clearly didn't want to bother, as the book is full of major typographical and consistency errors. Read some actual Jane Austen instead! If zero stars were possible, I would have used that rating - instead, a sad one star.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pasiphae on February 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
All right, I do have to take issue with the reviewers who didn't see the Austen parallels. They are indeed here; an insufferable, social climbing mother, a passive aggressive father, too many daughters, and a take on the class system (such as we have here in America, based on celebrity and/or money). But Austen's writing is hilarious without being cruel. This book is so broadly drawn, it is nearly unreadable. It seems a waste of what is a clear ability to craft a plot and a set of characters. I actually felt bludgeoned by the broad, crass tone of this book. No one was real enough for me to care about them, which took the book into the range of satire, and such harsh satire that I was wincing. And is it really all women's fault when their men cheat? Really? Seriously?

So my advice is simple: skip it. Go read Emma, instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book Him Danno on September 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love the title of this book. Not only are we all as imperfect as the main character of this book, Bliss, but we all are looking for our bliss-perfect or at least as close as possible. Imperfection is everywhere and in everyone and striving to be better and do better every day is how we can improve our chances of that close as possible to perfect bliss we all crave. I think Bliss will find hers, her sister Diana not so much

I really didn't get into this book until well after page 100. I found the mother annoying and the father flat. The only time I connected with the father was when he was with his granddaughter. I know that he is supposed to be like the father in Pride and Prejudice and maybe a bit...I have read that book at least a dozen times and yet he seemed flat. The mother was over the top and scary at times, she acted like the mother from Pride and Prejudice but more so and not in a good way. The sisters were very one dimensional, the youngest being the free spirit, the middle being the beauty bent on having money, the next oldest being the Elizabeth character in Pride and Prejudice going by the nickname Bliss and the oldest Victoria. Victoria was the most thought-out character, besides Bliss, in the bunch. She had problems, solutions and a strong head on her shoulders to combat her bossy mother.

After page 100+ the story started to finally take shape and I found an interest in what was going on and who was going to end up happy or not. Most readers aren't going to make it that far without something more exciting happening or something they actually care about happening. I found the story predictable, dull and lacking in any real interest. When I finally got past page 150 or so I read the rest in one sitting and enjoyed the ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Fuller on August 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Loosely based on a modern day pride and prejudice... This book was funny, and I definitely was entertained the whole time. Bliss finds herself recently and unwillingly divorced and back in her parent's house with her young daughter. If this weren't hard enough, one of her younger sisters has been selected to star in a reality show where the "Virgin" selects her husband. There are moments of over-the-top reality crass-ness and it's definitely on purpose and not glorified. Bliss must protect her daughter from this scene, come to terms with her new-found situation and figure out her future, and reconcile with her family- not an easy task.

This isn't your usual chick-lit where the author uses simple sentences and words, you can tell that the Susan Fales-Hill is quite smart, and even willing to make fun of cheesy american reality shows. I nearly gave this a four-star review, because it was pretty humorous, but I don't think it quite hit that mark. I was confused at times as to who was supposed to be Elizabeth Bennett, and thought the story-line with the older sister as a little bit distracting. I may have liked this a bit more if I hadn't been thinking Pride and Prejudice most of the time.
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