The Imperfects

Park Row: Harlequin. May 2020. 384p. ISBN 9780778305071. $27.99. F
Mainly set in the suburbs of contemporary Philadelphia, this tale has threads of historical fact backing up a compelling family read. After Helen Auerbach’s sudden death, her widely scattered and estranged family gather for the funeral. At the heart of the narrative is a brooch with an enormous yellow diamond at the center, which may be the still-missing Florentine Diamond, a piece of history that disappeared at the fall of the Habsburg Empire. Helen’s daughter, Deborah Miller, and her three children, Ashley, Beck, and Jake, agree that the diamond should be authenticated and sold with the proceeds divided equally, but their solidarity quickly dissolves as old patterns of betrayal and distrust resurface. Meyerson (The Bookshop of Yesterdays) delves deep into the sacrifices and struggles of the Millers through alternating points of view from each of the flawed characters as they move through arguments, legal battles, and the shocking secrets of Helen’s shrouded past. How did she end up with one of the most famous missing jewels in the world?
VERDICT Readers who enjoy realistically drawn characters, family dynamics, and the power of history will appreciate this novel. [See Prepub Alert, 11/11/19.]

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