Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Not Perfect” as Want to Read:
Not Perfect
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Not Perfect

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  8,386 ratings  ·  711 reviews
From Elizabeth LaBan, the acclaimed author of The Restaurant Critic’s Wife, comes a captivating and very funny novel about a wife and mother’s fall from grace, and why keeping up appearances is not her biggest secret.

Tabitha Brewer wakes up one morning to find her husband gone, leaving her no way to support herself and their two children, never mind their upscale Philadelp
Hardcover, 291 pages
Published February 1st 2018 by Lake Union Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Not Perfect, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Barbara Japha
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,386 ratings  ·  711 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Not Perfect
Cindy Burnett
While portions of the book were fine, overall this was not the book for me. The protagonist is highly unlikeable, making one bad decision after another. At times I wanted to reach into the book and shake her. Her husband has been gone for months, she is stealing food from restaurant buffets, but still she spends very little time trying to find a job (she doesn’t even have money to pay for lightbulbs so they are almost in the dark in their apartment). Then her daughter is at the hospital for a le ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
This Kindle First pick intrigued me, Tabitha's husband disappears...and then what? It's not hard to imagine myself in the situation, but there's no way I would act that stupidly. She has a college education yet she can't seem to make the simplest of decisions. Any mother who ignores her daughter's medical symptoms because she can't afford the $20 copay (but has a credit card that she uses for the dumbest of reasons) deserves ire, not sympathy.

She's broke enough to steal condiments and toilet pap

Before I dive into this review, thank you Kindle Unlimited for recommending me this book. I only really looked at the cover and the title and thought.. why not?

Back to this book:

Not Perfect: A Novel is the perfect title for this book. Tabitha, the MC, is a terrible decision maker. Seriously, she is. So, her husband has been gone and the entire time I'm wondering.. GOOD FOR YOU BOO BOO. 'Cause this bitch is crazy.

Tabitha has no
Jan 12, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challies-2018
I thought this book was awful. I didn't like any of the characters, and I got angry at the main character, Tabitha, many times. Her husband, Stuart, has run off, and she doesn't have enough money to put food on the table for her two children. She knows that they're in a bad situation because her husband's paychecks are no longer being deposited to their account. She knows she needs to get a job, but she thinks she has the luxury of being picky about the kinds of jobs she will even apply for. She ...more
Jan 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
See the picture on the cover? It’s Tabitha, embarrassed by all the stupid and illegal stuff she did. Oh, this one is unbelievable! Tabithas husband leaves her. She has no job and two young children. But she doesn’t tell anyone, not even the kids, what happened. Daddy is in a long business trip. She also does not get a job.

So when the money runs out after a few months, she starts stealing food from anywhere they offer a free meal. She has the mega purse and baggies to put stuff in. If that weren
Goth Gone Grey
Frustrating Imperfection

On one level, this book works well. It's a well written story of a woman who falls apart when her husband leaves, a whisper of a threat in his goodbye note. She's paralyzed by fear of what she has done being discovered - a vague looming black cloud for most of the book, slowly revealed. She's handicapped as well by her pride, not wanting anyone she knows to see her doing anything she shouldn't, while she steals food to feed her children. Late in the book, we see her husba
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-arcs
The premise of this one struck a chord with me right away I wondered what I would do if I were in Tabitha’s shoes? Would I pretend just to save face? Would I keep it quiet like she did and try to save my pride? Now I have no secrets my own husband could threaten me with, but the fact that if my husband did disappear I would be totally screwed both terrifies me and piques my curiosity. While I’m pretty confident I wouldn’t even think of doing half of what Tabitha did, I still found myself engaged ...more
I can't believe I trudged through this one. Tabitha has to be the most idiotic character I've ever read about. Get. A. Job. Seriously....not a hard concept. She sure wouldn't win mother of the year...sheesh
Jan 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I read about this book, it sounded interesting plus I have a few friends that read The Restaurant Critic's WIfe and loved it. It is hard to know just where to start with this one since I dsliked it on so many levels.

Tabitha is married to a lawyer. Her husband, Stuart has opened his own practice and is working with miners in the Upper Pennisula in Michigan. He is gone for days at a time and she serves as a single parent to their two children. Things go along in a routine until one day Stuar
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tabitha Brewer has a lot of problems. Her husband Stuart has disappeared without a trace, leaving her unable to support herself and her two children in the upper-middle-class lifestyle to which they’re accustomed. Tabitha is trying to find a job, but in the meantime, her life becomes a tangled web of secrets and lies as she tries to hide her husband’s apparent abandonment from everyone around her, including her children.

I keep wanting to call this novel “Gone Boy” even though it’s not a thriller
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Tabitha Brewer is a hot mess. One by one the light bulbs are dying and she can't replace them, the fridge is empty, each time she uses her phone she wonders if it will be shut off, because Netflix and cable have, her credit cards are close to maxed out and she has less than $100 in her bank account with no means to add more any time soon, her daughter needs new shoes and a doctor, the pricey private school her children attend keeps asking her to provide snacks and other help. All things she prev ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I went into this book not knowing for sure what to expect, but thinking it was going to be depressing. After all, this woman's husband just leaves her high and dry and she has to fend for herself with no money and a veiled threat hanging over her head. However, I was pleasantly surprised with what was between the covers and I easily fell in love with the story.

There was a Jewish element to the story that I especially enjoyed, as it focuses on Tabitha planning for her son's Bar Mitzvah. I can de
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This novel explores a crumbling marriage and how the wife survives after being abandoned by her husband. It begins by detailing a list the wife is keeping of the things she has stolen to survive. At first, she is taking simple necessities like food to feed herself and her two children. The absentee husband appears to be still paying the monthly bills, but he isn't sending money to cover food and incidentals.

We know this family is affluent because the children attend an expensive private school.
Cynthia Warren
Jan 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracy's Place
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I downloaded this one from the January First Reads on Amazon. None of the First Reads ever really catch my attention, plus it pisses me off that they’ll choose a children’s book over a romance, but I digress. This one sounded kind of interesting but in the end it was not for me.

Tabitha is a horrible person. She does nothing but lie and steal throughout the book when she could have gotten support from friends. I understand she felt threatened by her husband and embarrassed by the situation but r
Linda Zagon
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My Review of “Not Perfect” by Elizabeth LaBan

What would you do if your husband left after a disagreement, and just seemed to disappear? He is not answering your texts or your frantic telephone calls? Where is he? What is happening? After being so captivated and engrossed in “Not Perfect” by Elizabeth LaBan, these are many of the questions that I am left to think about. The author writes about the emotional pain and journey of Tabitha Brewer and her two children who seem to be abandoned. (emotion
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book I really did but it took awhile for me to get through it because I kept starting and stopping it. I found it hard to like Tabitha even though I felt horrible for her and what her husband was putting her through. She's the type of mother I hope I never become no matter how hard of times I fall on. I felt like she was more worried about her reputation, what others thought of her and then hanging out with this new guy more so than she worried about her kids. I can't imagi ...more
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
This heroine was just too stupid and selfish for me. After her husband leaves her and her children with no money or a way to support themselves instead of getting a job and trying to pick the pieces of her life back together, she instead decides to steal shit and keep it a secret.

Apparently there is some kind of threat hanging over her about why she can't tell anyone about her circumstances, but it appeared to be less about the threat and more about what other people would think of them. And al
Kelly Wagner
May 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
I think this is supposed to be "heartwarming," but our protagonist is too stupid to be sympathetic. She makes bad decisions, refuses to analyze or introspect. she refuses to ask for or get help, to the detriment of her children's health and her relationships with everyone. The people who continue to help her despite her continuing to refuse advice or to rethink her bad decisions aren't realistic either.
Heather Catlin
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It was a great, easy, chick-lit read.
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story will surprise you

This is a story of resilience, of forgiveness and realizing the good in all of us. It will encourage you to be kind to yourself and other s.
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
I received a free ARC of this book from Amazon Publishing and Lake Union Authors for an honest review. What do you do when you wake up and your husband is gone? He has not just disappeared but left you a cryptic threatening note, two children to take care of and no money. This is what the protagonist Tabitha is faced with. Rather than tell her friends and children what her situation is Tabitha starts to steal food etc from random places whenever she can to feed the family. I am a bit conflicted ...more
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a perfect book, but pretty darned good!

This is not a perfect book, but I really enjoyed it anyway. I think it took took way too long to find out when and why Stuart left his family. It wasn't really mysterious ss it was annoying. Tabitha was rather shallow and way too concerned with appearances; too casual about things like medical appointments and tests, and where the children were, what they were doing, and where the next meal was coming from. Then she blows a huge amount of her remaining
Helen Dunn
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was fine - light reading for me to read when I'm a little bit sick and not quite ready to read anything with more heft. The author is from Philadelphia and I really enjoy all the local flair in her novels.

This one is about a single Mom of two living in a nice part of town in the months after her husband mysteriously leaves her and the kids. She doesn't want to tell anybody and slowly her resources have dwindled to the point where she's stealing packets of butter and sugar from restaur
Sep 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Not Perfect, Elizabeth LaBan, Lake Union Publishing, 2018

This book was a Kindle First from Amazon.

From the publisher: Tabitha Brewer wakes up one morning to find her husband gone, leaving her no way to support herself and their two children, never mind their upscale Philadelphia lifestyle. She’d confess her situation to her friends—if it wasn’t for those dreadful words of warning in his goodbye note: “I’ll tell them what you did.” Instead, she does her best to keep up appearances, even as months
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This story and the main character had gotten so much hate that I was not even sure I wanted to read it anymore. I fully expected this book to land on the "cemetery of unfinished books," yet I found myself very much touched and fully drawn into it. A lot of readers had judged the main character, Tabitha, as stupid and unlikeable but all I saw was a mother who, through her husband's unexpected abandonment, was completely overwhelmed by her new circumstances. It took her a while to come to terms wi ...more
Jan 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If the story had been written from the point of view of more than one character, perhaps one of those where alternate chapters are from different voices, I think it would have been a good story ... but as it was, I found it simply ridiculous.

We follow Tabitha, a mother of two who has been abandoned by her husband and who seems more interested in her own pity than in looking after the children or behaving in a rational way. If the timescale was set over a week or two, her actions would be believ
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
A slow read as we navigate the difficulties of Tabitha’s life. When Tabitha’s husband disappears leaving her no money, no job and two kids to care for, she falls into near homelessness. But even in her time of struggles, when there wasn’t enough food for her family or light bulbs to light her fancy apartment, Tabitha continued to think of others including, donating her husband’s clothes and over tipping workers in jewelry.

Not Perfect highlighted the silent struggles many strangers, or even fri
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this read on Amazon when it was free and I am new to Elizabeth's book, so I was super excited to jump in and see where she would take me. For me it was a quick read and I really did enjoy Elizabeth's writing style. Such great characters. I see a lot of folks are not impressed by this read, it was different style, unique thoughts, but who says a book has to be set whatever way, it was might be very creative, different, not the normal a little out there and why not? is that not what a crea ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not what I thought

This book was definitely not what I thought it was going to be when I started it. I kept thinking I would stop but I began to be pulled into the story more and more. And I really enjoyed it. The husband was a terrible person and I don't think anything he did was justified. I can't believe a father would treat his children that way. He knew his wife didn't work and he put her in such a terrible situation. It's not surprising that she did the things she did. It was a flawed story
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Digging In
  • Neighborly
  • When Never Comes
  • Matchmaking for Beginners
  • Whisper Me This
  • The Other Family
  • Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties
  • The Forgotten Hours
  • This Bright Beauty
  • What Remains True
  • Trespassing
  • Silent Victim
  • If You Must Know (Potomac Point, #1)
  • I'm Fine and Neither Are You
  • The Sometimes Sisters
  • Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen
  • We Were Mothers
  • Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing
See similar books…

Related Articles

Jennifer Weiner is the author of many bestsellers, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, and Mrs. Everything. She's also a contributing opinion...
94 likes · 25 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Tabitha Brewer listened for footsteps before pulling the small notebook out of the junk drawer. She leafed through the pages, seeing that each day had a slightly longer” 1 likes
“Tabitha nodded, like she was talking to Holly directly. When she got Fern out of the tub, into fresh pajamas, and watching television, she gave her a big glass of ice water, which Fern happily sipped. All was well for about two hours, until Levi didn’t come home.” 0 likes
More quotes…