Imperfect Bliss

Susan Fales-Hill. Atria, $24 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4516-2382-6
Fales-Hill (One Flight Up) channels Jane Austen in a bawdy sendup of today’s landed gentry: a mixed-race couple and their four gorgeous daughters, all striving and conniving for a happily-ever-after. Broke and reeling from a messy divorce, second-oldest Bliss and her own daughter, Bella, return to the Washington, D.C., “little house of horrors” where Bliss grew up; craven younger sister Diana becomes the star of a reality TV husband hunt; oldest sister Victoria balks at another marriage proposal; and promiscuous baby sister Charlotte vents her girls-gone-wild proclivities. Even their pretentious Jamaica-born mom, Forsythia, takes advantage of her adoring but indifferent British husband’s long leash. But the hilarious hijinks of the Harcourts hides more poignant truths about these strong-willed women. Of course, there’s never a doubt that Bliss will find love in an unexpected place, or that Diana will get what she deserves, Victoria will accept a long-stifled truth, and Charlotte will wise up. The bigger surprise is the touching insight into the gnawing pain deep within each woman, especially social-climbing Forsythia, whose “fierce, blind love” would sacrifice everything for Bliss. Fales-Hill whips an old-fashioned comedy of manners into a stylish, sharp-edged satire. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME Entertainment. (July 3)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 07/03/2012
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4516-2384-0
Paperback - 294 pages - 978-1-4516-2383-3
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