After not hearing from each other for decades because of an embarrassing episode at a house party in Portugal, which we are kept in suspense about until the very end of the novel, and which really is not nearly as shocking as the build up leads the reader to believe that it will be, Damian contacts the un-named narrator, who has had a moderately successful career as a novelist. The narrator, "Fellowes," hates Damian but cannot resist going to see him. "Fellowes" also cannot resist carrying out Damien's last request to find the mother of Damian's child and seeing that he or she inherits all of Damien's fabulous wealth.
The book goes back and forth between the present (the book was first published in 2008) and the late 1960s. The book has all the inside scoop on the British upper classes that you would expect from the creator of Downton Abbey. The novel chronicles one of the last debutante seasons in the late sixties when the parents of the aristocracy and the rich paraded their daughters from one dance and party to another to find an appropriate husband.
Just like in real life, what we want to become in our youth is rarely what really happens to us. Past Imperfect is a well written and entertaining soap opera. And it's educational. You may learn how to dress for dinner if you're ever invited to an English country house or how to appropriately address the daughter of an Earl. Five out of five.
Lord Julian Fellowes