Thursday, January 15, 2015
Passing Through Perfect
Adult / Adult okay for YA / historical fiction
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars
Passing Through Perfect, by Bette Lee Crosby, places readers in 1940s Alabama as Benjamin Church is returning to his childhood home after four years serving in the Army. Grinder's Corner hasn't changed much, but Benjamin's mother is dead, the farm is near ruin, and his father is frail and has lost his zest for living. Benjamin, who left as a boy but is now a man, takes over farming and soon he and Delia, a girl from a neighboring town, are head-over-heels in love. Passing Through Perfect is full of consequences for paths chosen, with Delia's choice to become Benjamin's wife as one of the first paths that leads to both joy and heartache. Despite the bigotry and discrimination he repeatedly encounters as the years pass -- and the anguish it causes when tragedy strikes -- Benjamin perseveres and finds healing, hope, and friendship in most unexpected places.
Bette Lee Crosby has written a historically accurate fiction story that will tug at readers' heartstrings and cause tears of happiness, sadness, and even rage as they read Benjamin's story. It was truly painful to experience the hate, discrimination, and bigotry that existed (exists) in the south. People of color were dehumanized, but Benjamin never gave up, instead rising above it, always being true to himself, his family, and to God. The writing was outstanding, and the characters were richly drawn, each with very real, unique personalities and traits, making them utterly lovable or completely loathsome. Passing Through Perfect forces readers to focus on what's truly important in life, and as Benjamin reminds, “Perfect ain’t a place. It’s a time when everything’s good and we’re happy. Folks don’t live in perfect, they just get to pass through every so often.”
Passing Through Perfect is book three of the Wyattsville series, but it stands alone, and I intend to read the first two in the series -- I am solidly a Bette Lee Crosby fan now. Though it's an adult novel, I also recommend it for young adults because the lessons are so important. Readers will encounter moderate, occasional profanity, some crudeness and violence, a few references to sex, and racial slurs, but everything works contextually.
This book was reviewed for Readers' Favorite, who provided an eBook in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Read more about Bette Lee Crosby, her numerous awards and accolades, and her other great books at her website, http://betteleecrosby.com/
Click to buy Passing Through Perfect on Amazon.