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The Perfect Elizabeth: A Tale Of Two Sisters
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The Perfect Elizabeth: A Tale Of Two Sisters

2.94 of 5 stars 2.94  ·  rating details  ·  371 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Beloved in hardcover, The Perfect Elizabeth was a favorite among readers of Laura Zigman's Animal Husbandry, Anna Maxted's Getting Over It, and other wickedly funny books about smart young women falling in and out of love.Hailed "a luscious, frothy tale of Gen-X love" (USA Today), this modern-day Sense and Sensibility is a witty and hilarious novel about two sisters: Liza, ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 2000 by Thomas Dunne Books
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The Perfect Elizabeth is a "chick lit" novel that just didn't work for me. Liza is an aspiring poet who has a miserable day job as a legal secretary, while her sister Bette is a literature student who teaches at a university while working on her dissertation; their names are both diminutives of Elizabeth, so that Liza, the narrator, feels as though they're "the broken parts of one perfect Elizabeth".

Liza and Bette go through various trials and tribulations to do with their jobs and their love l
Liza & Bette's lovable sisterhood in The Perfect Elizabeth is a fun, easy read much likened to the folly in Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility. I found this book in perfect condition on the shelf at a thrift store among a plethora of tattered, dusty volumes. My adoration of Miss. Austen solely influenced this purchase, which ended up being a complete joy. Took it too and from class for a day or two to read in between passing and found myself completely taken with these two girls and their ...more
Erlyn Trinidad
I got the book from a book sale and there had been multiple times that the book has been discounted. Initially it was tagged for P60.00, then P30.00 and then finally P20.00. And the cheapskate that I am, picked it up and thought what the heck, it's only P20.00. Alright, I got taken in by the cover photo (picture of a coffee cup) and then the overview, about the story about 2 sisters and how it is meant for anyone who has a sister or anyone who ever wanted to have a sister. And the latter refers ...more
THE PERFECT ELIZABETH (2000): a novel by Libby Schmais is well worth the time to read it. It is a quick read, not nearly as “deep” as “An Arrow’s Flight,” but at least it is, I think, an honest representation of The Human Condition. In this instance—a study of what could be called “The Wounded Well,” aka neurosis. It is a first novel, first person narrative, of a thirty-something female who struggles with the question of “Who am I” and where is my place in the world? There is insight into what i ...more
Mary Pessaran
A nice surprise. At first, the writing threw me off, because the author gave us dialogue and action without much internal thought process or description of emotion and reactions. In that way, it was simpler than most books I've read, but I grew to like the unique structure of the writing.

It was also a surprise because it didn't follow a formula. When Eliza had boyfriend issues including his commitment phobia, it's easy to assume he'll be painted as the loser soon-to-be-ex boyfriend, so we shoul
Julie Defilippi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A very fast and fluffy read. I could skip a lot of paragraphs where I knew what the protagonist would be droning on about. One of those books you find lying around somewhere and read because its there.
Carrie Shaurette
This predictable and breezy story of two sisters and their relationships is nothing special, but not a bad one to bring to the beach.
What a colossal waste of time. Seriously, one of the most boring books I have ever read. No problems were ever really solved and the ending was deplorable. Ugh, my head hurts..
The ending seemed muddy, and not quite definitive....

Love the quote from it: "She trusts novels, not life. In novels, things work out according to plan; in life the plot is entirely unmanageable." Tattoo someday maybe???
Delightful fun read. Full of food and literary references. Cozy.
Jennifer Johnson
I spent the entire book trying to find parallels between The Perfect Elizabeth and Sense and Sensibility, but unfortunately, there wasn't much there beyond the presence of sisters. One sister kept her feelings to herself, like Elinor, but the rest didn't really tie in to Austen's novel. And forget "hilarious." Maybe it didn't match my taste in humor, but I found the narrative to be dry and monotone.

Read more of my review at
Michelle Nunes
Very quirky and fun. if you have a sister you will enjoy it.
Layla Naficy
"The Perfect Elizabeth" is a sweet book about two-aged sisters finding their way in the world, working through professional, romantic and family drama. In this piece, Schmais paints quirky and yet familiar characters, which make the story worthwhile; however, I found these characters to be the only intriguing element of the novel. Honest and yet comforting in its relevance, "The Perfect Elizabeth" is a fun read, but in my mind, not a great piece of literature.
Fast read, but not the genre for me.
Cute fluff of a read about two sisters, Liza and Bette (making up the Perfect Elizabeth), written by an Elizabeth herself.

Love lost, love love love and a wedding at the end. All's well that ends well.

Complete with "Oh, let me try to write a story." Naturally, the story is accepted by a movie studio with rights to be made into a cartoon and the protagonist gets a kill fee of $65,000.

Light, quick summer reading.
This book was surprisingly excellent (surprisingly because I randomly picked it up from the library in the 5 minutes I had before Mary got fussy). I loved Eliza's character. Bette was very recognizable to me - I know at least one person who was studying food in 19th century English literature. Though a fast and enjoyable read, this book definitely has substance.
I was said to be related to Sense and Sensibility, but I didn't see too many connections other than the personality of the older sister, possibly. Even though I read it in one night, I'm not sure that I liked the characters and their choices very much, though there were some funny bits.
I ADORED this book the first time I read it, but it didn't hold up as well the 2nd time around. I'm finding that with a lot of books I initially fell in love with. Perhaps certain themes are more relevant and poignant at particular times in your life.
A more thoughtful chick lit book than most... but not nearly as entertaining as it could have been. Schmais is a talented writer, but there was a distance between her characters and the reader -- a distance that kept me from investing more emotion in them.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Not great big life lessons...but a wonderful story of two sisters trying to make their way in this crazy world. I love Schmais' simple yet charming style of writing. Recommended.

Aug 19, 2008 Vikki is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A "bookclub friend" lent me her book, with high recommendations. Maybe it is because I do not have a sister that I am having trouble getting in to this book. I will keep you posted on my progress!
Sonya C
I liked this book because it reminded me of what it is like to have a sister and family. It is a novel but somehow, it made you feel it is real because it has "everyday" feeling.
Jun 09, 2009 Julia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julia by: best friend
Loved the character...made me think about my life and relationships. Took some time for me to connect in the beginning, but picked up significantly later. Good stuff.
Ok chick-lit. It got annoying how the main character couldn't find a purpose in life and then ended up with the same incompatible guy she was with in the beginning.
On the way home I stopped by the "take one, leave one" book nook at The Stata Center and picked this up. It's apparently a modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility.
I'd really give this 2.5 stars. I can't agree with forgiving the guy who cheats on you so I think that really kept me from liking this book.
This had potential, but it wasn't very well written and left out a lot of detail. Easy to read, but needed to be fleshed out more.
Aug 20, 2007 Kimberly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women
It's been a while since I read it, but I remember it being a perfect read for a weekend at the beach when you need a laugh.
Too Fluffy. Did make me want to write a kid's book that they could turn into a comic if I could get $65,000...........
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