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Publisher's Summary

From Elizabeth LaBan, the acclaimed author of The Restaurant Critic's Wife, comes a captivating and very funny novel about a wife and mother's fall from grace, and why keeping up appearances is not her biggest secret.

Tabitha Brewer wakes up one morning to find her husband gone, leaving her no way to support herself and their two children, never mind their upscale Philadelphia lifestyle. She'd confess her situation to her friends - if it wasn't for those dreadful words of warning in his goodbye note: "I'll tell them what you did."

Instead, she does her best to keep up appearances, even as months pass and she can barely put food on the table - much less replace a light bulb. While she looks for a job, she lives in fear that someone will see her stuffing toilet paper into her handbag or pinching basil from a neighbor's window box.

Soon, blindsided by catastrophe, surprised by romance, and stunned by the kindness of a stranger, Tabitha realizes she can't keep her secrets forever. Sooner or later, someone is bound to figure out that her life is far from perfect.

©2018 Elizabeth LaBan (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    71
  • 4 Stars
    49
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    76
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    61
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    12
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Solid 4 stars

For the most part, the narration was good. The narrator has an obnoxious habit of lilting upwards ever so slightly on the last word of every sentence. But you get used to it. Kind of.

The story was great if you are expecting a story about a woman in a hard situation. If you're expecting a romance, you'll feel a tiny bit disappointed. Not super disappointed, by any means. Just a bit.

It's not steamy (which I appreciated), so no worries if you prefer to avoid sex scenes. But even in the scenes meant to be between the MC and the new love interest, the underlying focus was on the crappy (ex)husband. I wanted a bit more of THEM without the constant shadow of the ex.

That said, I still enjoyed this. Never felt like a waste of time. I cared enough to rewind if at times I felt like I didn't quite listen well enough. solid 4 stars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great narration

Would have given it 5 stars but I was no aggravated with the behavior of the adult characters. They all are in need of some therapy. And what they did to those poor kids.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring and pointless.

This book is really bad on so many levels.

The main character, Tabitha, is totally impotent in taking control of her life in the face of adversity. She'd rather be a victim than take control of any circumstance and, for this reason, she made me angry - throughout. I have to wonder if the author is trying to make a statement - and, if so, what is it? Possibly she's saying that typical non-working, semi-privileged mothers have no productive coping or survival skills?

We learn from the beginning that Tabitha is just one of those sorry victims of life. She just lets life happen to her after her husband walks out on her and her kids. She drifts from one meal to the next (literally). Worst, she lets her kids down in about a dozen ways.

Further, the author presents the two children (ages 9 and 13) in a really poor light (this one is hard to explain). Even the kids' names are odd. Tabitha constantly uses babyish nicknames - like "Fernie Bernie" and "Monkey" - for them, and you have to wonder: who does this?

The motivation of the husband/father who walks out is thin and unrealistic. And so it goes.

As for the narrator, Amy McFadden, she is one of my favorites. But she was either totally wrong for this book - or she was so great that she skillfully conveyed the uselessness of the main character. In any event, she was totally annoying.

So I do wonder: why did I finish this book that left me with such an overwhelmingly negative feeling? If you read it, maybe you can answer this question in your comments. I'll watch.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Dreary inner monologue

I’m sorry to say that this book wasn’t for me. I read for enjoyment and this wasn’t. The audio performance was okay. However the lead character was too timid and fearful to be enjoyable. Move on.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Desperation

Good story. Able narration. Worth a go. Captures Center City Philadelphia well. Lovely dash of humour.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Hmmmm

Not what I was expecting. Far too overly detailed and way too long. The main character made up most of her issues in her mind. Very anticlimactic.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Blah

The story needed more work. The timing in which certain details were revealed was truly frustrating. The main character knew why her husband left, but it wasn't truly revealed until later in the book, financial situations didn't add up either until the middle of the story. It just seemed as if the storyline wasn't completely thought out.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

enjoyed

it was a lighthearted enjoyable book although I thought the character could have then more intelligent and how she got food to see her children and should not have let Pride make her situation so bad but as a story I could put that aside and just enjoy the story

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A feel good read!!

Loved everything about this book! A perfect summer read.. will b looking for more by this author

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Okay

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, because it was extremely mundane. Each time it seemed like something interesting was going to happen, it ended up being underwhelming.

Would you be willing to try another book from Elizabeth LaBan? Why or why not?

Sure.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ones with Nora.

Do you think Not Perfect needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Definitely not, I think the ending was all it needs.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • jane browne
  • 03-02-18

Couldn't listen - voice too annoying

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Really looking forward to this book. However, the voice was so annoying I gave up on it. Waste of a credit!

Has Not Perfect put you off other books in this genre?

No but will check narrator next time

How did the narrator detract from the book?

couldn't concentrate on the story because found the narrators voice distracting

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment