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The Imperfects
Cover of The Imperfects
The Imperfects
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HIGHLY RECOMMEND BY GOOD MORNING AMERICA · PARADE · OK! MAGAZINE · ELLE CANADA

"A page-turning family saga, this book will entertain readers of all generations." —Good Morning America, One of GMA's 10 Books to Send as Mother's Day Gifts

"Compassionate, thoughtful, and surprisingly moving... [The Imperfects] 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.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND BY GOOD MORNING AMERICA · PARADE · OK! MAGAZINE · ELLE CANADA

"A page-turning family saga, this book will entertain readers of all generations." —Good Morning America, One of GMA's 10 Books to Send as Mother's Day Gifts

"Compassionate, thoughtful, and surprisingly moving... [The Imperfects] 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.

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About the Author-
  • Amy Meyerson teaches in the writing department at the University of Southern California, where she completed her graduate work in creative writing. She has been published in numerous literary magazines and currently lives in Los Angeles. The Bookshop of Yesterdays is her first novel.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2020
    When estranged siblings discover that their recently deceased grandmother left behind a multimillion-dollar diamond, they try to look past their differences in order to unearth the secrets of their grandmother's past. Beck Miller has a better relationship with her maternal grandmother, Helen, than do either her brother, Jake, who lives across the country, or her married sister, Ashley, who simply can't be bothered. Their mother, Deborah, has also done precious little to care for her mother over the years, so it's no wonder that when Helen dies, she bequeaths her most valued possession, a bedazzled brooch, to Beck. Beck is shocked to discover that the brooch, which looks like costume jewelry, contains a real 137-karat diamond. Known as the Florentine Diamond, the gem once belonged to the Habsburgs and has been missing since the early 1900s. The stone is worth millions, and Beck feels compelled to share this windfall with her family members despite their dysfunctional relationships. As word spreads that the Millers are in possession of the famous Florentine, every possible claimant, from the FBI to the Italian government, makes efforts to confiscate it from them. The Millers begin investigating Helen's youth in an effort to prove that she came by the stone honestly. As they uncover details of her childhood, including her narrow escape from the Nazis, the Millers also learn secrets about each other that threaten their already tenuous relationships. Told from the perspectives of all three Miller siblings as well as their mother, the story emphasizes the ways in which varied perceptions of identical facts can create rifts in relationships. The author portrays complex relationships with insight and finesse, if also with a degree of excessive detail. Although the novel has the unfortunate quality of shifting points of view too quickly, often making it feel disjointed, the questions with which the main characters grapple are sufficiently engrossing that readers will remain engaged. Replete with details about gemstones and the mechanisms for determining a diamond's quality and provenence, the novel showcases how greed and selfishness can cause fissures in relationships that reverberate for generations. A solidly entertaining multigenerational saga about sacrifice, self-reliance, and what it means to be family.

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 16, 2020
    A family is embroiled in conflict in Myerson’s cracking tale (after The Bookshop of Yesterdays) about a precious family heirloom. Ninety-two-year-old Helen Auerbach has died, leaving only a brooch to her granddaughter Rebecca “Beck” Miller. Beck and her siblings are unhappy that Helen left her modest home to their mother, Deborah, who was raised without a father and who lost Beck’s trust by piling up credit card debt in her name. However, when the large jewel at the center of the brooch turns out to be the famous Florentine diamond, worth as much as $10 million, Beck agrees to split the proceeds of any sale among the habitually argumentative siblings and their mother. The plot thickens when news of the diamond spills into the public, after which many try to stake a claim, including the Austrian and Italian governments. As Beck, her siblings, and her mother look for evidence to prove the diamond belongs to them, they learn of Helen’s escape from Nazi Germany at age 14 and the truth about Deborah’s father. Myerson makes the family arguments deliciously realistic, and her gradual uncovering of the heirloom’s secrets will keep readers turning the pages. This well-spun tale is a charming reminder that familial reconciliation can be worth a fortune.

  • Library Journal

    April 1, 2020

    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.]--Charli Osborne, Southfield P.L., MI

    Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    May 1, 2020
    The Miller siblings are barely speaking to one another when their grandmother, Helen, dies, forcing them to reckon with her legacy, which involves the long-lost and priceless Florentine Diamond. The diamond means something different to each sibling. For Ashley, it's a way to maintain her lifestyle after her husband's criminal activity is exposed. For Jake, it provides a fresh start after years of underachievement. For Beck, it's a chance to build a life she truly loves. But before they can sell the diamond, they must prove its provenance and explain how an average woman in Philadelphia came to possess one of the Habsburg crown jewels. As they piece together their family history in an attempt to prove that Helen was diamond's rightful owner, her painful story comes to light, forcing the family to rethink what they knew about their grandmother and about each other. Meyerson (The Bookshop of Yesterdays, 2018) fluidly moves between family members' third-person stories as they navigate their complex relationships. Compassionate, thoughtful, and surprisingly moving, this dysfunctional family saga will satisfy fans of Maggie Shipstead and Celeste Ng.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

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Amy Meyerson
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