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The Imperfects

Review

The Imperfects

The Millers are miles away from each other, both physically and emotionally. Scattered across the country with little to no contact, they resemble strangers more than family. When their spirited and secretive matriarch Helen dies, the Millers come back home. All together for the first time in years, they must manage their current relationships while reflecting on their past. 

The Millers are shocked to find that Helen had a large diamond in her possession, hidden in a brooch. After consulting with a qualified jewel expert, they find out that the 137-carat yellow diamond is the Florentine Diamond, an Austrian treasure that has been missing for a hundred years. Driven to learn more about how Helen acquired it, the Millers realize they knew very little about her and their ancestral history. As they navigate their own demons, they reluctantly come together to discover how the diamond came into their hands and if they are legally allowed to keep it. They dream about a future with diamond money while uncovering the dramatic and harrowing circumstances that led to this inheritance.

"Readers do not have to be history buffs or jewel fanatics to find the plot intriguing and creative.... If you are missing your loved ones a little extra during quarantine, this is the perfect story for you."

I loved to hate this family. They are the most frustrating people I have ever read about in a novel, which I think was author Amy Meyerson’s intent. A central theme throughout the story is how the past affects the future. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Bits of backstory is interspersed throughout, adding a lot of dimension to the narrative. I enjoyed reading about how a certain moment from their teenage years grew to become very important in their adulthood and relationships.

Each family member has a distinct personality that clashes with the others, and their lack of trust and communication frustrated me. When they make a choice that is so obviously wrong from the reader’s perspective, I imagine it is akin to how a mother feels when she must watch her child come to a decision that she knows will hurt them. I applaud Meyerson for making these characters so lovable yet so exasperating. The family is a perfectly imperfect broken mess. 

Readers do not have to be history buffs or jewel fanatics to find the plot intriguing and creative. Although it is refreshingly original and easy to follow along with, I did feel that parts of the book were a little too abrupt. The narrative would jump forward with a quick sentence or two, and left me wondering what happened during those times. I wish Meyerson had provided us with more insight into the Millers’ relationships with each other.

While there is a mystery to solve here, I believe that THE IMPERFECTS would best be classified as a hopeful family book. If you are missing your loved ones a little extra during quarantine, this is the perfect story for you.

Reviewed by Alison Lee on May 29, 2020

The Imperfects
by Amy Meyerson

  • Publication Date: May 5, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Park Row
  • ISBN-10: 0778305074
  • ISBN-13: 9780778305071