Imperfect Pairings - Jackie Townsend
Release Date - May 2013
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
Imperfect Pairings is the winner of the 2013 Indie Reader Discovery Award for Chick Lit. I, personally, am not sure I'd classify the novel as chick lit. When I think of chick lit, I think of light and humorous. With Imperfect Pairings, Jamie and Jack/Giovanni's relationship was often turbulent and rather morose.
Jamie is a business woman in America. She heads to Italy with her beau, Jack, not expecting him to suddenly change. In Italy, she comes second to his family. His mother doesn't seem overly impressed by her, she struggles to fit in due to the family's structure, and there's a bit of a language barrier too.
Soon, the couple are forced to explore their relationships and their very ideas of family. When Jack left for the U.S., he left behind his destiny on the family's vineyard. Once he's back, his passion for the land grows and Jamie becomes uncertain of her place with the family or even with Jack for that matter.
The book does come to life with vivid details of Italy. From time to time, Italian phrases pop up, and my knowledge of French helped me a little with the translations, but usually I had to skip them and hope the Italian wasn't essential to the story.
I honestly wasn't sure I liked either character, yet as the book progressed, I found myself involved in their stories, plus those of the cousins, and kept reading. In the end, I am very glad I stuck with it. Despite their differences, the romance between Jack and Jamie is touching and satisfying.