If you’re familiar with the name Susan Fales-Hill, it may be because of how often you watched “A Different World” or “The Cosby Show,” where it often appeared in the credits. A prominent socialite, philanthropist, television writer/producer, and author, Fales-Hill has penned a fun chick lit novel for women of color, just in time for the beach getaway you’re (hopefully) planning this summer. Imperfect Bliss is the story of four well-to-do sisters from Chevy Chase, MD, and their mother’s obsession with their marriageability. It’s being called “Jane Austen meets The Bachelorette,” as part of the plot focuses on the youngest sister’s selection as the star of a reality show meant to find her a husband.
Bliss, the novel’s protagonist, is the least interested in finding a husband. She’s recently divorced and has moved back in with her parents in order to pursue a Ph.D. With a special needs daughter and her studies to distract her, she’s attempting to forget the past and focus on a future where her marriage prospects aren’t a priority. Unfortunately, the reality show and her mother’s incessant fussiness infiltrate her solace to comic results.
Imperfect Bliss has been considered by some to be a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. It’s Fales-Hills’ third book. The first was a memoir: Always Wear Joy: My Mother Bold and Beautiful, about life with her Haitian singer/actress mom Josephine Premice. The second was a novel, One Flight Up, about a jaded divorce lawyer and her adult relationships with her childhood friends. Of Imperfect Bliss, Publishers Weekly says, “ Fales-Hill whips an old-fashioned comedy of manners into a stylish, sharp-edged satire.” If you will be in the New York area on July 22, Fales-Hill will be reading and signing the book as one of the last authors to appear at Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe in Harlem before it closes its doors.