Review - How Perfect is That by Sarah Bird

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

How Perfect Is That ~ Sarah Bird
336 pages, Publisher: Pocket, Reprint edition

Before becoming Mrs. Henry "Trey" Biggs-Dix III, Austin socialite Blythe Young owned the exclusive catering company Wretched Xcess. Post divorce and having lost what money and status she'd briefly gained, Blythe is desperate to hold on and for the second time she's determined to fake it 'til she makes it -- passing off warehouse club taquitos as Petites Tournedos Béarnaise à la Mexicaine and relying on her own private concoction of Stoli and pharmaceuticals as a substitute for sleep at a do-or-die catering event for the crème de la crème of Austin's society dames.

But then a blabber-mouthed accountant puts the IRS on Blythe's trail at a most unfortunate moment. There's no option except to cut and run. Blythe's been ducking calls from her friend Millie for over a decade, but now Millie is the only person with a heart big enough to take her in. So, just one step ahead of the law, Blythe sputters in on fumes of gas to Seneca House, the fleabag co-op boarding house at the University of Texas where the two met and that Millie still runs.

What do you do when you hit bottom? Blythe's story is a morality tale for the new millennium as, with the help of her reluctant housemates, she faces down the crème de la crème of Austin society one last time, and by doing so finds the way out of her own ethical quagmire.

There are books that I love for their language (Jane Austen books), for their suspense (Michael Crichton), for their mysteries (Agatha Christie), for their romance (Julia Quinn). I love many books for many reasons. The reason I love this book is simple - the narration plus the savvy dialogue, witty conversations and a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor that doesn't quit from start to finish! With charm and words, Sarah Bird crafts a story is not quite about coming of age, but rather of getting mature in a manner most unexpected and with characters who encompass all levels of society from the lofty society queens to the white Rasta wannabe students.

Most engaging of them all is central character and chief narrator, Blythe Young, who remains in one's memory long after the last page is turned over. My main reason for liking Blythe is that she's inherently flawed. Now that struck as something really true to life as who among us hasn't had a selfish thought or did something wrong - granted not the give-someone-Rohypnol wrong like Blythe, but wrong nonetheless. The book is non-stop fun and once you get past Millie's over-the-top Mother Teresa like goodness, the narrative really holds one spellbound as everything from hobos to Jaguars to music piracy parade in and out of the story. Romance also plays a small but essential part in this story.

In short, slip in How Perfect Is That by Sarah Bird in your beach bag this summer along with your sunscreen, and have fun!

My review is part of this book's virtual tour today. Don't forget to check out these other tour stops:

Thanks to Sarah from Pocket Books for organizing this tour.
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