Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Imperfects

The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson
Harlequin/Park Row Books: 5/5/20
eBook review copy; 384 pages 

The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson is a highly recommended drama about a dysfunctional family and a unbelievable inheritance.

When their grandmother, Helen Auerbach, passes away, estranged siblings Beck, Ashley and Jake and their mother, Deborah Miller, must come together to face old resentments and betrayals. Helen's will leaves her house to Deborah, which all three of her children resent. It also leaves a brooch to Beck, which also causes friction, especially when they learn that the large yellow stone in it is very likely the Florentine Diamond, a 137-carat yellow gemstone that went missing from the Austrian Empire a century ago. It is worth millions and Becks two siblings and her mother are all eyeing the monetary value. The inheritance problem, among so many other issues they have individually, is that the diamond needs to be authenticated and the ownership of it, the provenance, needs to be proven. 

If you think your family has issues, then meet the Millers. Deborah has let her children down for years and did little to care for her mother. Beck made sure her Grandmother Helen was doing alright, so it seems natural that Helen's most valuable possession would be bequeathed to her. Naturally, if you need money because your part time job isn't cutting it and your girlfriend is pregnant (Jake) or if your husband is involved in some illegal shenanigans (Ashley), you are going to resent your younger sister for the inheritance. Oh, this is a motley crew of dissatisfied people who must now work together to prove their legal ownership of the Florentine Diamond. It gets even more complicated when news of the diamond gets out and various countries and estates file a claim to it.

The well-plotted narrative is told through the alternating points of view of all four Millers, who are portrayed as flawed, but well-developed characters. They struggle to work together to uncover the secrets of Helen's past even while their personal resentments keep rising to the surface. The family's interpersonal struggles almost overshadow the investigation into Helen's past and the mystery of how she came into possession of the diamond. It will become clear to the reader early on that even if they get a 10 million dollar payoff from selling the diamond, it is doubtful they'll be happy. The ending is somehow right and wrong at the same time in this entertaining but sometimes exhausting novel. 3.5 rounded up

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Harlequin/Park Row Books.

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