08 April 2013

Imperfect Bliss: A Novel by Susan Fales-Hill

Product Description: "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."

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 clich├ęs 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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