Book Review: The Imperfects

The ImperfectsThe Imperfects by Amy Meyerson

“Compassionate, thoughtful, and surprisingly moving, this dysfunctional family saga will satisfy fans of Maggie Shipstead and Celeste Ng.” —Booklist

From the bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays comes a captivating new novel about a priceless inheritance that leads one family on a life-altering pursuit of the truth.

The Millers are far from perfect. Estranged siblings Beck, Ashley and Jake find themselves under one roof for the first time in years, forced to confront old resentments and betrayals, when their mysterious, eccentric matriarch, Helen, passes away. But their lives are about to change when they find a secret inheritance hidden among her possessions—the Florentine Diamond, a 137-carat yellow gemstone that went missing from the Austrian Empire a century ago.

Desperate to learn how one of the world’s most elusive diamonds ended up in Helen’s bedroom, they begin investigating her past only to realize how little they know about their brave, resilient grandmother. As the Millers race to determine whether they are the rightful heirs to the diamond and the fortune it promises, they uncover a past more tragic and powerful than they ever could have imagined, forever changing their connection to their heritage and each other.

Inspired by the true story of the real, still-missing Florentine Diamond, The Imperfects illuminates the sacrifices we make for family and how sometimes discovering the truth of the past is the only way to better the future.

This was an interesting story of a very dysfunctional family and the fallout of the death of the secretive grandmother. One of the granddaughters inherits a 137 carat diamond — something unheard of. There is mystery involved: How did their grandmother get the diamond? Did she steal it? Who does it really belong to?
All the while, there are family squabbles of an authentic sort. The 3 grandchildren are all very different. They could each use some money. They each have their secrets. Then there is their mother who has not been a model parent.
I like the play on the title, The Imperfects. The diamond is imperfect, which is how they can authenticate it. Also, the people in the family are imperfect.
This is a well conceived family drama that looks back to the war, trying to piece together the grandmother’s life. The characters feel well rounded. There is also a certain almost thriller like tension around who the diamond actually belongs to and who will claim it in the end.
That being said, the ending is clever (and that’s all I’ll say so as not to give anything away).
Thank you to Netgalley and Park Row for the review copy.
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