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Imperfect Bliss

2.7 of 5 stars 2.70  ·  rating details  ·  436 ratings  ·  142 reviews
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 f
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Atria Books
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(showing 1-30 of 1,747)
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Liz
Imperfect Bliss is an interesting edition to the Austen-inspired collection. Set in suburban Washington D.C., this contemporary, chick-lit follows Bliss Harcourt, a divorced mother and graduate student, on her path of rediscovery. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are very recognizable in Harold and Forsynthia Harcourt, a British professor of the history of science and a Jamaican-born Anglophile. Jane Bennet has transformed into Victoria Harcourt a thirty-five year-old librarian, who can't seem to love any ma ...more
Toni
With the Queen's Jubilee and the 2012 Summer Olympics all over the news, it seems fitting to read a novel about the Harcourt family. Even though Forsythia, the matriarch, is of Jamaican heritage, she is in love with all things British. She and her husband, Harold (who is actually British), have four daughters, all named after a member of the royal Windsor family and it is Forsythia's wish to have them each married off to their perfect prince. Victoria, the oldest, has just ended yet another enga ...more
Lydia Presley
It's been a few days since I finished Imperfect Bliss by Susan Fales-Hill. Reflecting back on the read, I have just one question to ask myself - why did I keep reading?

Now, I do want to say that Imperfect Bliss is not necessarily.. well it's.. okay, it was kind of like a bit of a train-wreck, and the amusement outweighed the annoyance and that's the only reason I was able to keep going. The premise behind Imperfect Bliss was that it was a modern-day Pride and Prejudice meets The Bachelorette; ho
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Sharon Redfern
Bliss Harcourt is a divorced mother of a child with special needs who has returned to live in the craziness that is her parent’s home. Bliss is working for a fellowship in History and trying to get back on her feet after her husband left her. Her life revolves around Bella, her precocious four year old daughter who wear “baby bifocals” and a brace on her leg.
The Harcourt home is headed by her professor father Harold and her Jamaica born mother Forsythia, who idolizes the British royal family and
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Tina Hayes
Susan Fales-Hill's "Imperfect Bliss" is a story of a family swept into a fairy tale when one daughter is chosen for a reality show called The Virgin. As Diana flirts onscreen to find her perfect husband, her sister Bliss struggles to get her newly divorced self together, and keep her 4-year-old daughter away from the camera lenses. Their mother is 100% behind the TV show that will choose her son-in-law, though their father thinks it a bit tasteless. Their mom Forsythia is already mad at sister V ...more
Melanie
Loosely based on a modern day pride and prejudice... This book was funny, and I definitely was entertained the whole time. Bliss finds herself recently and unwillingly divorced and back in her parent's house with her young daughter. If this weren't hard enough, one of her younger sisters has been selected to star in a reality show where the "Virgin" selects her husband. There are moments of over-the-top reality crass-ness and it's definitely on purpose and not glorified. Bliss must protect her d ...more
Yasmin
More like 3.5 stars...however, I rounded up because as whacky and quirky as the characters and storyline were it was a very engaging and entertaining read. Many folks have compared it to Pride and Prejudice and said their is no comparison and that this is a weak, unflattering imitation. Well, I read Pride and Prejudice 40 years ago so there is no reference or comparison for me as I don't remember the storyline (guess it wasn't that great a read for me) and I'm not interested in rereading it...so ...more
Dr.
This has to be one of the most boring books I have ever read. The cover art reminded me of an ancient painting on pottery and the book took me forever to read.I felt ancient from forcing myself to finish this book. I had to force myself to restart it again & again and continue reading it.
The plot had potential and might have been entertaining if handled differently by the author.
Pride & Prejudice combining with a modern day reality TV program could have been an amazing book.
I was so dis
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Shannon
I'm not going to lie...this one was a struggle to get thru. In fact, I found this to be much like the classic 'Pride & Prejudice' but featuring a lot of drama, very little wit and a lot of over-the-top reality TV. This all leads to an imperfect book. Bliss Harcourt is a recently divorced, independent woman who has moved back home with her parents all the while raising a daughter. When one of her sisters gets chosen to star in her own reality show Bliss finds it easy to get caught up in the c ...more
Peri Goldberg
This is one of those books that pose a conundrum. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great. This leaves me with a problem as to what to do with it....do I pass it on, or dispose of it? Overall, it was a pretty darn stupid book, and the whole situation was unreal, and even juvenile at times. I get what the author was trying to do, but I don't think it worked. That said, there was some humor and it wasn't a total fail....as I did like Bliss and some aspects of the story. Unfortunately, most of the ...more
Bookworm1
In her book, "Imperfect Bliss", Susan Fales-Hill treats us to a behind-the-scenes look at a reality show, and how said show affects an entire family. The ludicrous idea for this Bachelorette-type reality show is one contestant is chosen to be “The Virgin” (and she's supposed to be one). The colorful Harcourt family of Maryland and their four daughters are thrown into the public eye when their daughter, Diana, is given the dubious honor and picked to be the Virgin. The story unfolds as we realize ...more
missbowers
Dear Jane Austen Fans with a Desire to Pen Your Own Novel:
If you are truly a fan of Jane Austen, please do not attempt to write a Pride and Prejudice novel in the 21st century. I have rarely found a really good retelling of Pride and Prejudice in print - Bridget Jones's Diary is probably the exception.

Imperfect Bliss is the story of Bliss nee Elizabeth, divorced-mom who's sister is chosen as the "Virgin" on a Bachelorette-style reality TV shows. Being the Elizabeth Bennet character, she is of co
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Lexiloo
couldn't finish it. I've gotten to the that I will not waste time finishing books I hate. And this qualifies. A tv show called"the virgin"? Really?

Also, if I hadn't known this was Austen fan fic or whatever, I never would have seen the parallels to P & P.

This gets a solid 'meh'.
P
There was really nothing I liked about this. I picked it up because I had been reading some intense, heavy stuff and I wanted something light that I really didn't have to think about. I guess this book fit that bill. Full of shallow characters and a silly plot, repetitive and not particularly well written, it was a relief when the end came. I thought it had potential. Featuring a mixed race family whose mother was obsessed with her daughters marrying nobly (literally) and throwing in some realit ...more
Jillian Osten schmidt
I surprisingly enjoyed this book! When I read a couple of blurbs, I wasn't so sure but thought I'd give it a shot. Although it wasn't a "I can't put it down" books, I did look forward to reading it every night after the kids went to bed. It was a light, easy chick-lit type read. SPOILER ALERT - plus it was nice to read something with a happy ending, unlike most books I've read lately which are trying to throw a twist into the expected, Fales-Hill let the expected come and live happily ever after ...more
Paula  Phillips
I'm not sure what it is about Jane Austen fiction renditions , as it seems I can't get enough of them and books about reality TV Shows I adore which does surprise me as Im not one to enjoy watching it on TV but reading it in books is a whole different ballgame.
Imperfect Bliss takes us into the life of the Harcourt Family in modern day America. We meet Harold Harcourt and his wife Forysthia and then of course their four daughters all quite stunning or so we read - Victoria, Elizabeth, Diana and
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Melissa
I have to admit I was a bit worried I wouldn't like this one because of the reality tv angle, but still wanted to give it a try since it was supposed to be a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I did see many of the similarities within the characters as it contrasted those within Jane Austen's novel, but it was a story of it's own. I also didn't mind the reality show angle as it brought to the surface "selling" oneself in marriage as Jane felt in the original. I thought it was a cleaver way of doi ...more
LiteraryMarie
The Harcourts are a middle-class, mixed-race couple with four daughters. Ever since giving birth to the girls, Mrs. Forsythia Harcourt's goal was for her daughters to marry a royal, wealthy prince. She even named the girls after the Windsor royals.

Bliss, the second-born daughter, is the main character. She is a new divorcee hesitant to date again and break her many months of celibacy. She moved back home along with her special needs daughter and is focused on earning her PhD. The Harcourts live
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Bookworm1858
This was an automatic want-to-read after seeing that it was inspired by Austen's Pride and Prejudice, my very favorite book. I am always curious to see how an author will update the specific settings, characters, and plots from Austen's time to fit into our time.

In this case, we have a Jamaican-born mother whose childhood under the British empire inculcated her into certain ideas about status and class; this has been something she has tried to impress upon her four daughters, who were all named
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Kat
If I was ever sure of one thing, it was that I would never read chick lit. Now I am not sure of anything after reading "Imperfect Bliss" by Susan Fales-Hill. After hearing that it was a modern re-telling of "Pride and Prejudice," I couldn't help but be curious. I have loved Jane Austen since high school and my copy of "Pride and Prejudice" has been read so many times that the book is held together with bobby pins and rubber bands. But be warned, this isn't your mother's Jane Austen! This is Eliz ...more
Vanessa Booke
Imperfect Bliss: A Novel by Susan Fales-Hill is a contemporary story inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The story's concept is like nothing I've read before and I found it to be an unusual take of Austen's most beloved story. I found this story somewhat entertaining but overall it was not what I was expecting. The beginning was tediously slow and I found myself struggling and I really had to force myself to finish the story. There were several times through out the book that it seeme ...more
Carla Ford
Wow - what a family! This fictional account of a televised reality show must be pretty much like the real thing. Wait - were there several oxymorons in that sentence? A little over the top and campy, but an enjoyable read. A funny, laugh out loud look at modern day romance and courtship, and nice to see that there are some things about love and "hooking up" that are timeless. Bliss, the daughter of Harold and Forsythia, finds herself back at home and heartbroken, working on her PHD and raising h ...more
Carolyn
Kinda disappointed with this book. The reviews I read said it was a "Bachelorette meets Pride and Prejudice," and what I thought was going to be a fun, romantic comedy, fell really short for me.

So the "Bachelorette" show in the novel turns out to be a crass, "The Virgin" where the main character's sister, Diana, is going to pick the most eligible bachelor, marry him, and then give himself to her (insert virgin jokes here). The Harcourt family is a blended family, father is from England, mother i
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Shannon White
As reviewed in Localiez magazine (by me)


If you are combing this page looking for a super fun summer page turner, this is your pick! Imperfect Bliss, at times, borders on ridiculous but in the most delightful way. The story follows 4 daughters of Jamaican and English decent each named after royalty. One of the daughters, Diana, is selected as the starlet of a new reality TV show… The Virgin. Diana’s older and more serious sister, Bliss, views The Virgin as an antiquated sale of her sister to the
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Book Him Danno
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 t
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Amodini
I’m a Jane Austen fan and Pride and Prejudice is one my of all time favorites. However the resemblance to Pride and Prejudice seemed superficial; while the Harcourts are in number and gender similar to the Bennett family, and Forsythia with all her prim-and-properness , might be a direct descendant of Mrs. Bennett, Bliss was not what I’d expected out of a Lizzie-like heroine. For all her talk on feminism, women’s issues and empowerment, Bliss seemed way too focused on counting the days of her ce ...more
Carla
The Harcourts are a "typical" family, characters ranging from Harold (the father) a studious Brit, Forsythia a social climber from Jamica, Victoria (the eldest) whose prim and proper facade holds more cracks beneath the surface, Elizabeth aka Bliss who is getting over her divorce, betrayal, and rasing a beautiful and unique "handicap" daughter named Bella, Diana who finds a way for making her fifteen minutes of fame trampling whoever might get in her way, and Charlotte the youngest, misguided da ...more
Northwestreader
Really?

Disclaimer: I did not choose this book. It was sent to me to review.

Premise: A woman with four daughters whose main goal is to have at least one of her daughters remain virginal and marry well—preferably royalty but fabulously rich and famous will do. And then, one of the daughters is handed the starring role in a TV “reality” show called “The Virgin.” The contenders recite poetry to her and joust to win her hand. Oh, please, spare me this drivel! The characters in this book have about as
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Barbara
IMPERFECT BLISS
Susan Fales-Hill


The Harcourts, Harold and Forsythia, of Chevy Chase, Maryland are a respectable, middle aged and mixed-race couple. Harold and Forsythia are the parents of four daughters, all of marriageable age. Forsythia has named each of her daughters after a Windsor Royal in hopes that they would each find their prince.

Some of the daughters have other plans for their lives, but this neither slows nor stops Forsythia. Elizabeth, or Bliss as she is called, has married, had a c
...more
Hannah
This was a really great, light, funny and refreshing read. Yes, the plot was very predictable, but nevertheless I enjoyed the story immensely. As I said, it was kind of a light read, but I also found myself taking some of the issues talked about in the book, and things that the characters were involved in, and thinking about them more. So even though this was a pretty light, I think there is definitely some deeper meaning behind it, and will leave you with something to think about. Especially in ...more
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