Article first published as Book Review: ‘Imperfect Pairings: A Novel’ by Jackie Townsend on Blogcritics.
I chose “Imperfect Pairings” by Jackie Townsend after reading in the synopsis that it was about an American professional woman who fell for a professional Italian man. Being born and raised in South America of Italian Immigrant parents, I had always considered myself South American more than Italian. However, I must admit that I it wasn’t until I met my Italian husband of over 20 years that I realized how American I was. Needless to say I was curious about the topic, yet I did not know how much I would enjoy this book until I began reading!
In “Imperfect Pairings,” Jamie, a professional, independent American woman decides to travel to accompany her Italian boyfriend of few months, Jack aka Giovanni. This trip marks the beginning of her journey in discovering Giovanni as she not only struggles with language and culture differences while getting to know his family, but also struggles with discovering a new side of her boyfriend and herself.
Townsend does a wonderful job depicting the Italian culture shock Jaime goes through, and keeping the reader laughing as we picture clearly each situation. As an Italian who grew out of Italy, I could relate as I remembered my own culture shock the first times I met my own family as a child and my husband’s family as a grownup when we lived in Italy for a year. But make no mistake; this story is much deeper than a funny scene compilation.
Townsend’s beautiful writing style and craft hooked me from the beginning as she unraveled all of the characters’ personalities, their insecurities, their dreams. She also did a great job depicting the relationship struggles as cultural differences, and long distances challenged their profound love. I was amazed at how real and true all this issues and struggles rang true to me, to point that I wondered if they were the author’s true accounts, even though a work of fiction.
“Imperfect Pairings,” by Jackie Townsend is a love story not just for romance lovers, but for everyone who has been in a relationship, as they all will be able to relate while enjoying an entertaining, fun read which provides also a profound message about our choices in life. “Imperfect Pairings” is definitely at the top of my 2013 list for best books I have read this year!