From the first time I viewed the cover of IMPERFECT BLISS I was certain I had to read this novel. While it ended up to go in many other ways then I expected, still glad I followed my gut and that Atria Books was at so willing to let me. IMPERFECT BLISS captures the modern-day craziness of reality TV laced with the issues of the Bennet family in Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.
Mr. Harcourt has been graced with four daughters but at present none of the girls are married. Mrs. Harcourt, Forsythia, is obsessed with the Windsor royals, she even named her daughters after them: Victoria, Elizabeth (aka Bliss), Diana and Charlotte. Mrs. Forsythia is easily compared to Mrs. Bennet in her over the top dramatic actions but in the current times. When she tries to impart her feelings on marrying the right sort of man, decorum and the Royals it usually serves to drive her daughters from the room.
It turns out the four Harcourt girls like the Bennet sisters all have different points of view regarding their paths and how to conduct themselves. Victoria is the only daughter out of the house. She is thirty-five and by all accounts the beauty. She is still single but not because men do not notice her, her latest boyfriend is everything that her mother could hope for her. But is it everything Victoria wants or is there something more?
Bliss is front and center to the story and so strong-headed like Lizzie. She has returned home to Maryland with a broken heart and her special needs daughter Bella. Bliss is finishing her Ph.D. and is always trying to preach to the woman in her life about feminism most especially her daughter. So naturally this idea for a reality show involving her family she wants no part of. But when some of the perks and love interests come her way courtesy of the show, will her beliefs bend?
Next up is Diana who has taken a liking to the idea of being a princess and signs on to meet a prince and star in the THE VIRGIN a reality show. Of course Forsythia is pleased with the attention and the thought one of her daughters will be settled to one of the wealthy suitors vying for her hand on the show. Some of the episodes take her and her family to wonderfully romantic places and they get to play fairy princess dress up around the world. Diana and Forsythia are soaking it all up but who will Diana chose to be her prince?
Rounding out the cast is Charlotte the youngest whose attention-getting behavior with the boys would shock her mother and certainly not qualify her to be cast on THE VIRGIN. Charlotte does not like to share the spotlight and through her careless behavior she will learn some life lessons, but is it too late?
IMPERFECT BLISS by Susan Fales-Hill is a light romp in today’s world of reality TV, values and love. It is sharp, witty and will tickle your funny bone while leaving you thinking all at the same time. Between the four sisters, Bella, mom and dad, the cast and crew of THE VIRGIN there is something for everyone. That darn Austen pops up everywhere and I for one am always glad.