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Imperfect Bliss: A Novel Hardcover – July 3, 2012

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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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451623828
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451623826
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,348,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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 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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