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 from the mind of their second-born daughter, Elizabeth (AKA Bliss), who, in the aftermath of a messy divorce, has moved back home and thrown herself into earning her PhD. All that changes when a Bachelorette-style reality television show called The Virgin takes Bliss’s younger sister Diana as its star. Though she fights it at first, Bliss can’t help but be drawn into the romantic drama that ensues, forcing her to reconsider everything she thought she knew about love, her family, and herself. Fresh and engaging, Imperfect Bliss is a wickedly funny take on the ways that courtship and love have changed—even as they’ve stayed the same.
Fales-Hill (One Flight Up) channels Jane Austen in a bawdy sendup of today s landed gentry: a mixed-race couple and their four gorgeous daughters, all striving and conniving for a happily-ever-after. Broke and reeling from a messy divorce, second-oldest Bliss and her own daughter, Bella, return to the Washington, D.C., little house of horrors where Bliss grew up; craven younger sister Diana becomes the star of a reality TV husband hunt; oldest sister Victoria balks at another marriage proposal; and promiscuous baby sister Charlotte vents her girls-gone-wild proclivities. Even their pretentious Jamaica-born mom, Forsythia, takes advantage of her adoring but indifferent British husband s long leash. But the hilarious hijinks of the Harcourts hides more poignant truths about these strong-willed women. Of course, there s never a doubt that Bliss will find love in an unexpected place, or that Diana will get what she deserves, Victoria will accept a long-stifled truth, and Charlotte will wise up. The bigger surprise is the touching insight into the gnawing pain deep within each woman, especially social-climbing Forsythia, whose fierce, blind love would sacrifice everything for Bliss. Fales-Hill whips an old-fashioned comedy of manners into a stylish, sharp-edged satire.