Passing through Perfect
Book 3, The Wyattsville Series - Memory House Collection
Bette Lee Crosby
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It’s 1946. The war is over. Millions of American soldiers are coming home and Benjamin Church is one of them. After four years of being away he thought things in Alabama would have changed, but they haven’t. Grinder’s Corner is as it’s always been—a hardscrabble burp in the road. It’s not much, but it’s home.
When Benjamin attends a harvest festival in Twin Pines, he catches sight of Delia. Before their first dance ends, he knows for certain she’s the one. They fall madly in love; happily, impatiently, imprudently, in love. It doesn’t matter that her daddy is staunchly opposed to the thought of his daughter marrying a cotton farmer, never mind a poor one.
It’s true Benjamin has little to offer; he’s a sharecropper who will spend his whole life sweating and slaving to do little more than put food on the table. But that’s how things are in Alabama. Benjamin is better off than most; he has a wife, a boy he adores, and a house that doesn’t leak rain. Yes, Benjamin considers himself a lucky man until the fateful night that changes everything.
Southern Lit At Its Strongest
When I read Southern themed books, I look for two things: a strong sense of history and a strong sense of place. Together, these two form the essence of 'Southern fiction' - and Passing Through Perfect captures this essence quite nicely.
Don't expect pat answers, simple characters, or calm progressive events, here - there's passion, race relations, injustice, and history centered around one Benjamin Church, who opens the story dying. How he lost his love Delia is just one of his stories, which traces a legacy of prejudice and loss in his son Isaac's experiences as well.
Be forewarned: this is Book 3 of the Wyattsville series - but also be advised: I came upon it midway with no prior familarity with its predecessors, and had no problems immediately absorbing the story. But...now I'll have to go back and see what I missed in the others!
Any interested in Southern atmosphere and family ties injected with a dose of spiritual reflection will find thids a powerful, moving saga!
Characters Jump Off the Page and Into Your Heart
In 1946, the war has ended and Benjamin Church is headed home to Grinder’s Corner, Alabama and his father. He arrived home to find his father unable to run the farm properly by himself, and being a dutiful son, he stayed to run the farm.
Then he met Delia, a preacher’s daughter, and fell in love at first sight. Her father disapproved of the relationship, disowned her, and forbade her mother to visit their only child. Benjamin and Delia got married by a justice of the peace and settled down in Grinder’s Corner. When their son Isaac was born, Delia was determined they should leave Grinder’s Corner and move north where a black child had better opportunities and could go to college. Benjamin refused. He was happy with his life, until a horribly tragic event occurred on one rainy night - an event that changed life as he knew it, forever.
When Benjamin finally decided to leave and head north he passed through Wyattsville, Virginia, where he met Sidney and Carmella Klaussner and their boy Paul Jones, and his sister Jubilee, all people we met in JUBILEE’S JOURNEY. The Klaussner’s showed their gratitude to Benjamin for rescuing Paul from a burning auto by helping him get on his feet and making the right connections for him.
This is an intensely moving story of a Southern black man and his quest for a happy life for himself and his family from his Southern roots to a promising future away from the racism he encountered in the South.
The third book in the Wyattsville Series, PASSING THROUGH PERFECT did not disappoint me. Bette Lee Crosby’s storytelling ability has never shown brighter. A Southern gal herself, Crosby had an insight into the trials and tribulations of Southern living, and therefore her depiction of the towns and life situations were believable. PASSING THROUGH PERFECT, with characters that jump right off the pages and into your heart, is a book you don’t want to miss.
The author gave me this book in exchange for an honest review.
I just finished Passing through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby. It the third book in The Wyattsville Series. It is 1946 and Benjamin Church has just returned to Twin Pines from the war. He has returned to his father’s (Otis Church) farm (they are sharecroppers) to help him out. Since they live in Alabama, Benjamin believes he can have money producing crops all year round. While at a local dance, Benjamin meets Delia Finch. She is the pastor’s daughter. They immediately fall in love and wish to marry. Pastor Finch does not approve of Benjamin for his daughter. Pastor Finch is a college graduate and has made sure that his daughter had a private school education despite her color. Delia has had a good life and has been sheltered from the harshness of being a non-white in Alabama. When Delia turns up pregnant, her father calls her a bad name and throws her out of the house. Delia and Benjamin marry the next day. Delia sacrifices her family for her love.
Life will not be easy for Delia, Benjamin, and Otis. When the worst happens, Benjamin will have to make a choice. A choice that will change life for Benjamin. Passing through Perfect is just a lovely novel to read. Passing through Perfect is well written and the novel flows beautifully. I liked the characters (except Delia’s father). It is interesting to see life from a different perspective and I was glad for the epilogue that wrapped up the novel nicely. I give Passing through Perfect 4.25 out of 5 stars. The only thing I did not enjoy was the periodic chapters told from the first person perspective of various characters. I did not always feel that the enhanced the story. While Passing through Perfect is the third book in the series, it can easily be read alone (though you will want to go back and read the other two novels).
I received a complimentary copy of Passing through Perfect from the author in exchange for an honest review.
- Category: Historical
- Published: Jan 10, 2015
- Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing
- Seller: Bent Pine Publishing
- Print Length: 309 Pages
- Language: English
- Series: Book 3, The Wyattsville Series