Sunday 22 February 2015

Book ~ "Passing Through Perfect" (2015) Bette Lee Crosby

From Goodreads ~ 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.

Benjamin spent four years as a soldier in WWI.  He had dreams of being a pilot but ended up as a mechanic instead.  His father, Otis, is a sharecropper in Alabama who lost his will after his wife died two years earlier so it's up to Benjamin to turn the farm around.  When Benjamin meets Delia at a dance, he knows she's the one for him and they eventually get married and have a son, Isaac.  Delia would like to move north where the colour of a person's skin doesn't matter and Isaac will have a chance of being something more than a sharecropper like his daddy.  They have tough times financially but Benjamin is happy with his life.  Something happens one night that changes everything and Benjamin realizes that there are indeed difference rules for blacks and whites.

This is the second book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  It was well-paced ... plus the story was an interesting one.  It is written in third person perspective, though some chapters are in first person perspective ... they are short and italicized and the name of the person is at the beginning of these chapters so you know who the focus is.  This style worked for me as it let me get into their heads and know what they were thinking.  As a head's up, the language at times is for mature readers.

It's hard to believe that things were like that back then ... stores and restaurants with signs in the window saying "No coloureds".  As the daughter of a preacher, Delia had been raised with more financially than Benjamin and wanted more for her family.  She resented the attitude of whites towards black and knew there were places where blacks were accepted and could be doctors and lawyers ... that's what she wanted for her son.  Benjamin didn't know any different and accepted that this was his lot in life ... he was respectful, hardworking and knew his place.

I received a copy of this ebook at no charge from the author in exchange for my honest review.

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