Title: Imperfect Bliss
Author: Susan Fales-Hill
Review: 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. Predictable, but nice at the same time..I’m a sucker for the happy ending. Who doesn’t want to end up living Happily Ever After?
The supporting characters, Jordan, Darius, Manuel, Wyatt, and a few others added to the plot, but seemed to also drag it along. Condensing the first 100 pages may help the reader stay focused on the plot. I really lost the whole reason for the book until after page 100 and still wondered who is going to enjoy this book. With so much out there to read that is interesting, thought provoking and fun…why read this? But, looking back I did like the end, making this book a 3 star book in my opinion. I was disappointed by the books lack of imagination, there already is a reality show out there about Virgins and who cares anyway?
Publisher: Published July 3rd 2012 by Atria Books
Quick Review: 3 stars (out of 5)-
Why I Read It: Sent by the publisher for review.
Synopsis: Reality TV— Jane Austen Style Meet the Harcourts of Chevy Chase, Maryland. A respectable middle-class, middle-age, 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 PhD. 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. Fresh and engaging, Imperfect Bliss is a wickedly funny take on the ways that courtship and love have changed—even as they’ve stayed the same.
Author Biography: SUSAN FALES was born in Rome, Italy in 1962, and raised in New York City. She graduated from the Lycee Francais de New York in 1980 (Baccalaureat, Academie de Caen). In June of 1985, she graduated with honors from Harvard College with a degree in History and Literature (original class affiliation: 1984.) Her thesis, a comparative study of the poetry of Mallarme and that of Martinican dramatist Aime Cesaire, is in the Harvard archive.
She began her writing career as an apprentice on the original "Cosby Show" (starring Bill Cosby & Phylicia Rashad). After two years on staff, she was transferred to the show’s spin-off, "A Different World" (starring Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, Sinbad) as a Story Editor. Three years later, in 1990, she became Co-Executive Producer/Head Writer. Under Susan's stewardship, "A Different World" was nominated for the prestigious Humanitas Award. The episode she wrote on AIDS, "If I Should Die Before I Wake," received the 1991 Maggie Award from Planned Parenthood, the 13th Annual Media Access Award from the California Governor's Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons, and the Nancy Susan Reynolds Award. In November 1995, Susan became Executive Producer of the CBS sitcom, "Can't Hurry Love" (starring Nancy McKeon & Mariska Hargitay). The following year, under contract with Warner Brother Studios, she served first as Executive Producer of the family-oriented situation comedy, "Kirk" (starring Kirk Cameron), then as a Consulting Producer on the television series "Suddenly Susan” (starring Brooke Shields, Nestor Carbonell, Kathy Griffin). In 1998 Susan co-created with Tim Reid the Showtime original series "Linc's” (starring Pam Grier) and served for two seasons as its Executive Producer/Head Writer. Susan is the recipient of the Producer’s Guild of America’s Nova award, a “Special Recognition Award” from the Friends of the Black Emmys, and the Excellence and Heritage Award from Dillard University.
Susan has written several magazine articles that have appeared in Town & Country, Vogue, Glamour, American Heritage, Ebony, Essence, Avenue, and Travel and Leisure. Her article for Vogue about growing up bi-racial, entitled “My Life in Black and White,” was reprinted in Vogue Español, and has been used as a teaching piece by a number of universities.
Susan is fluent in French and Italian, and conversational in Spanish. She lives in New York with her husband and their daughter.