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  • Dysfunctional family meets historical mystery

    The Imperfects combines two of my favourite literary elements; family drama and historical fiction. The family drama: Take a dysfunctional family like the Millers, give them a 10 million dollar diamond inherited from Grandma Helen and let the fun begin! Spoiler alert: The result is lots of quarreling and fighting. The historical mystery: How does a 14 year old girl fleeing the Holocaust come into possession of a priceless diamond? Was Helen a jewel thief or is there some other explanation? The search for the truth leads the Millers through Helen’s history and that of her mother uncovering some explosive secrets along the way. This brings the family together and although there is still a lot of bickering they manage to unite at least for a time to find the truth. Will they be able to accept the truth that they find? As is to be expected of any story involving the Holocaust there are some really sad, horrifying aspects. While Helen’s life was gravely impacted by the Holocaust it is really her parents who suffered the true consequences. Helen’s story is more about rebuilding and moving on after she reaches America. If you avoid WWII stories in general because they are disturbing and depressing I think you are fairly safe picking up this book. The Holocaust plays a part but it’s not too graphic and doesn’t dwell too much on the darkness. The contemporary story is the bigger part of this book and it includes a lot of humour to balance out the sadness of Helen’s family story. It made me thankful I have never faced such atrocity but I didn’t find this to be a sad and melancholy book at all. Things work out in the end in unexpected but generally positive ways. I was completely rapt reading this story and for the last third you could not have pried it from my hands! I always enjoy contemporary characters solving historical mysteries and this mystery was especially compelling to me because it’s based on a real life lost diamond. It boggles my mind that the Florentine Diamond is out there somewhere and maybe one day someone will unexpectedly inherit it. After reading this I’m not sure it would be worth the trouble! If this book makes one thing clear it is that money doesn’t buy happiness nor does it solve all of life’s problems. Thank you to Harlequin for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.

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  • An Absorbing Story

    "The Imperfects" tells the story of the imperfect Miller family: mother Deborah and adult children Ashley, Jake and Rebecca (aka "Beck"). Years earlier Deborah's husband Kenny abandoned her and the children, and they now have a tenuous and stressed relationship. After the death of Deborah's mother Helen, the family learns that a diamond pin bequeathed by Helen to Beck is a missing piece of jewellery which belonged to the Austrian royal family. Their endeavours to learn of the piece's history and how it came into Helen's possession cause further stress to the family members. By the end of the novel, however, Helen, Ashley, Jake and Beck have learned to appreciate each other, and the reader senses hope in their futures.

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