Jane Austen meets the Bachelorette in this twenty-first-century comedy of manners about a suburban family, their four eligible daughters, and what happens when reality TV comes to town.With her acclaimed first novel, One Flight Up, author Susan Fales-Hill is on a roll, already leaving her chick-lit predecessors “in the dust,” as the New York Post put it. Now, in Imperfect Bliss, she offers up a hilarious take on genteel family life with a cast of irresistibly eccentric characters. Meet the Harcourts of Chevy Chase, Maryland. A respectable middle class, middle-aged, mixed-race couple, Harold and Forsythia have four eminently marriageable daughters—or so their mother believes. Forsythia named her girls after Windsor royals in the hopes that one day each would find her true prince. But princes are far from the mind of their second-born daughter, Elizabeth (AKA Bliss), who, in the aftermath of a messy divorce, has moved back home and thrown herself into earning her Ph.D. All that changes when a Bachelorette-style reality television show called The Virgin takes Bliss’s younger sister, Diana, as its star. Though she fights it at first, Bliss can’t help but be drawn into the romantic drama that ensues, forcing her to reconsider everything she thought she knew about love, her family, and herself.I have to admit I was a bit worried I wouldn't like this one because of the reality tv angle, but still wanted to give it a try since it was supposed to be a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I did see many of the similarities within the characters as it contrasted those within Jane Austen's novel, but it was a story of it's own. I also didn't mind the reality show angle as it brought to the surface "selling" oneself in marriage as Jane felt in the original. I thought it was a cleaver way of doing just that.
I loved the fact that Bliss's family was of mixed race and dealt with all types of prejudice. Even the kind we direct at ourselves. That in itself really makes the book for me, more so than the relationships within the book. In fact, that brings me to my biggest complaint... the relationships.
If you are looking for an uplifting book about relationships, this may not be your book. Now, don't get me wrong, there is an HEA in that area. Our intrepid "Darcy" known as Dario and Bliss are perfect in that regard and so is Victoria with her mate (I don't want to spoil who that was, but I did love the twist!). However, the rest is full of cheaters, gold diggers, and liars. It sort of makes you wonder if love really exists in this book's world. The ending does give you hope, but after so much, I think I just needed a bit more.
I give this book 3 stars. It's a good retelling of Pride and Prejudice and I have to say I love the way the author brings it into the contemporary scene. I suggest this book for those that love these sorts of retellings as well as those who enjoy chick-lit.
I received this book from Atria Books and no compensation for my review was given.