Imperfect Bliss (Hardcover)

By Susan Fales-Hill

Atria Books, 9781451623826, 304pp.

Publication Date: July 3, 2012



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.

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.

About the Author

Susan Fales-Hill is the author of One Flight Up and the acclaimed memoir, Always Wear Joy. A contributing editor at Essence, her writing has also appeared in Vogue, Town & Country, and Travel & Leisure. She lives in New York City.

Praise For Imperfect Bliss

"Fales-Hill channels Jane Austen in a bawdy sendup of today’s landed gentry...but the hilarious hijinks of the Harcourts hide more poignant truths about these strong-willed women. She whips an old-fashioned comedy of manners into a stylish, sharp-edged satire."

"Chick lit with an intellectual streak."

“Convincingly updates Pride and Prejudice for the twenty-first century …the novel’s strength is Bliss, a complicated, thoughtful woman—a feminist raising a princess-obsessed daughter, and a very funny narrator. Issues of racial and economic prejudice add depth to the Austenesque social commentary.”

"Imperfect Bliss is the perfect summer read. Susan Fales-Hill, a magnificent storyteller, has written a poignant and piquant comedy of manners that will make Jane Austen fans swoon. Delicious!"

-Adrianna Trigiani

Imperfect Bliss is a hoot! Featuring a heroine who becomes entangled in the nutty world of reality TV, it's a fast, fun read.”

-Sarah Pekkanen

"If Candace Bushnell and Zadie Smith had a literary love child, the result would be Imperfect Bliss."

-Keli Goff

"Imperfect Bliss's romantic heroine ultimately finds her epiphany in a journey through family discord, reality TV productions, and a candlelight dinner for two...this is reading as alluring as the best French perfume."

-André Leon Talley, Editor at Large,Vogue

“A chick lit masterpiece that leaves Jackie Collins in the dust.”

“Frank and funny…A wise and wicked peek into the overstuffed closets and medicine cabinets of New York’s contemporary gilded set.”

“A sassy summer beach read.”