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Imperfect Bliss: A Novel Hardcover – July 3, 2012


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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 (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,105,730 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

Like I said, don't think too much about this book.
vox libris
Readers should take these similarities for what they are but don't expect a full modern-day retelling of Pride & Prejudice or anything quite like Austen.
Sandy Kay
I don't understand what point she meant to make about four beautiful, marriageable mulatto women.
Kharabella

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 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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5 of 5 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sir Philologist on July 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The take away message of this book is that when a man cheats it's always the woman's fault. I suppose the author is trying to point out the "complexity" of marriage and relationships, but the characters are not complex- they are thin caricatures who lack the character development necessary to say anything about marriage and human nature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. Urry on August 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
There are lots of reviews on what this book is about, so I'm not going to give another run-down. I will tell you that I agree with most reviews about the mediocre writing. There were a few things that didn't work for me. The whole 'marriage is a disaster best avoided' theme ran through the entire book. Marriage is work, no doubt there, and I know it doesn't always work, but it disturbed me that this seemed an overwhelming theme of the book. Also, there is such a thing as self-restraint, but no one in this book seemed to have any of it - including Dario who is supposed to be the hero figure (so did not work for me). There are some mildly explicit sexual encounters including lesbian themes. The book hinted at this in the beginning, but it was just that, a hint. It could have gone either way. Had I known, I would not have picked up the book. So, dear reader, be warned. I also wondered at the likeness between the two men in Bliss's life. Was one just a replacement of the other. If she hadn't still been so in love with Manuel, maybe it would have worked better. I did like Bella's character. She was fun and impetuous.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A on July 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book's unconvincing characters and underlying sexism made me want to vomit, thus rendering its hideous Pepto Bismol pink cover oddly appropriate. Fashioned roughly on the blueprint of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, this novel focuses on a bi-racial family on the edge of high society with several unmarried daughters. The first few chapters were promising, suggesting that the book would explore issues of gender and race in the context of an exploitative reality television program that one of the daughters foists upon the rest of the family. Instead, the result is a nauseatingly sexist plot, teaching us that women are to blame for their husbands' infidelity, either because they are not sensual enough or because they push their husbands away. This book has none of the virtues that made Austen's Pride and Prejudice so timeless. I would not recommend it to anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elly Sparks VINE VOICE on September 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is probably one of the worst books ever - w/ the exception that I often stopped to call my girlfriends and read them an excerpt of the book.
Wow. First off, we meet Elizabeth who is living back at her parents home because her husband cheated on her. Elizabeth has a spoiled out of control toddler. Elizabeth went to Yale and has a photo of Che Guevara on her bedroom wall. HUH. You would think a Yale graduate was intelligent enough to know that if Elizabeth had lived in Cuba during the Che reign,she would have been chained and digging ditches and mass graves in a prison camp system inspired by the man the Elisabeth admired. In a famous speech in 1961, Che Guevara denounced the very "spirit of rebellion" as "reprehensible." "Youth must refrain from ungrateful questioning of governmental mandates," commanded Guevara. "Instead, they must dedicate themselves to study, work and military service." "Youth," wrote Guevara, "should learn to think and act as a mass." - So yeah, smart Elizabeth who is now living at home with her nauseating parents and spoiled daughter, seems not to be so smart after all.
As more and more liberal elitist writers get contracts due to their knowing the right people in the publishing world - bookstores are flooded with tales of families coming apart at the seams and no one seems to know why...perhaps it's because they are so focused on themselves and they turn their back on family values and instead of booting a cheating husband to the curb - they blame themselves!!

Authors like Janet Evanovich and Nora Roberts succeed wildly because no matter the story - they never feel preachy or try to impose their political beliefs on an unsuspecting reader.

Unless you're an elitist and believe you are soooooooo above the "rest" of us - skip this horrible book!
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