The Essence of Perfection | By Nita Brooks
Narrative and Plot
The Essence of Perfection is a contemporary women’s fiction novel told from the perspective of Nicola- the main character. Even though the story never focused on another character’s voice, you can see every emotion that Nicola and the characters around her go through. In terms of narrative, that is commendable. The book really conveys the message it wants to portray.
Adding a strong plot to the mixture, makes it the ‘Essence of Perfection’. The book explores several areas regarding relationships and its varying facets. It ends on a strong note about being open to life and people.
Characters and Conflicts
Every significant character in the book has a typical arc of their own. Except for Shonda – the best friend. Then again, the book mainly focuses on Nicola and her family. Nicola is a flawed character right from the start. Watching her progress is awe-inspiring. Not that it has spectacular and eye opening events. The sheer simplicity of what one needs to do to grow as a person makes this a memorable read. There is an endearing factor to Nicola even if she makes mistakes, like the way she registers each person with their scent.
The story pretty much covers every aspect in the life of a millennial by the time they are thirty. The dynamics of relationship felt real particularly between Quinn and Nicola. There is years of animosity and hurt, yet the bond they have is strong. Siblings normally become the support system in your adult life because they’ve seen various stages of your life and know you better. Having an elder sister, I felt the weight of their sisterly bonding and enjoyed it.
Modern day relationships face different kinds of challenges. Damien and Nicola didn’t go on the usual rom-com way of indecision and confusion. They acted like the adults they were. The insecurities and apprehensions that both of them had felt every bit real and relatable.
The burden of expectation and some degree of confirmation bias has been explored in the book.There is a lot happening and yet it all makes sense to you as a person. The conflicts of our lives are always intricately woven. If one unravels, chances are a lot more will follow.
Overall, The Essence of Perfection packs a punch of flavors. Everyone can find a little bit of themselves in this book. I sure did find a bit of my flaws reflected in this story. Which is why it is easy to connect to the characters and their situations. You can see each one of them and understand why they’ve become the people that they are. Eventually it urges people to move out of their notion of a comfort zone. If all this is not enough, the ARC of the book had a questionnaire which can easily make up for a book club discussion. If you’re into the genre, you must not miss this one.
Disclosure : 1) I received an e-ARC of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 2)This website uses affiliate links. This is not a paid promotion but Bookbugworld will earn a small commission if you click on the link for purchase.