Powerful themes course through – The Reader Salute
Great reviews have been coming in for the soon-to-be-released third book in the Wyattsville Series, Passing through Perfect. Here’s one from Donovan’s Bookshelf:
Poverty may be color blind, but prejudice is not…and what heals one man can tear the heart from another. Passing Through Perfect is not the kind of novel that excels in pat answers, simple characters, and calm progressive events – and this is evident from the first paragraph, which opens with a punch and just keeps on emotionally slugging: “When the heart of a man gets pulled loose he starts dying. I started dying a year ago, and I’m still working on it. I ain’t going all at once; I’m going piece by piece.”
Benjamin Church opens the story in 1958 with a heart-felt review of why he’s dying. But it’s not so much a physical death as a spiritual one: he’s lost Delia, his love, and the story of this loss makes for a powerful saga in Passing Through Perfect, which goes back to 1946 Alabama where war is ending and Benjamin is returning home with little news of his family’s situation.
Benjamin’s marriage to Delia was not without its controversy, right from the start: it’s a union that causes some to chafe and others to accept them, and it survives birth, death, and the storms that threaten to shake its foundations, until one particular loss changes everything.
When Benjamin comes to realize what his son Isaac is telling him about the tragedy, which is firmly rooted in prejudice and man’s inhumanity to man, he embarks on a dangerous journey of confrontation and revenge that exposes the raw underbelly of Southern prejudice running in all circles, from the common man to local law enforcement: “The sheriff recognized Benjamin. He’d done work for Missus Haledon, and he’d done a good job. He painted their back fence and repaired a broken window in the storage shed. He was blacker than most but known for being polite, unlike the smart-mouthed coloreds who lived on the far side of Bakerstown.”
Be forewarned: this is Book Three of The Wyattsville series. This reviewer has not read the prior books, either – so also be advised that prior familiarity with the series is not necessary (though, it likely will be desired, after reading this continuation of the saga). This is Southern fiction writing at its best: spiritually infused, warm, and family-oriented – an atmosphere which permeates every chapter with descriptions firmly routed in family tradition and the South: “As he sat at the kitchen table and drank a glass of sweet tea with his daddy, her ghost slid in alongside of them. It was a sadness neither of them wanted to speak of.”
Sadness, broken connections, painful memories, and the birth of tolerance in the face of bitterness: all these are powerful themes that course through Passing Through Perfect and lend it an emotionally-charged feel.
Any interested in Southern atmosphere and family ties injected with a dose of spiritual reflection will find this a powerful, moving read.
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Passing through Perfect
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FROM A USA TODAY AUTHOR OF WOMEN’S FICTION BEST SELLERS COMES A FAMILY SAGA RIFE WITH THE INJUSTICES OF THE SOUTH AND RICH WITH THE COMPASSION OF STRANGERS… MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW SAYS SOUTHERN FICTION AT IT’S BEST.
It’s 1946. WW2 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.
In this inspirational romance, Benjamin attends a harvest festival in Twin Pines where 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.
Literary Awards for Passing through Perfect
Royal Palm literary Award Finalist
INDIE Next Generation Award Competition Finalist
International Book Awards (IBA) Finalist
USA Book Awards Finalist
Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal in Southern Fiction
#1 Best Literary Fiction 2015 by Authors on the Air
Praise for Passing through Perfect
Well-written and engaging, readers will welcome back characters from previous Wyattsville books. – Kirkus Reviews
This is Southern fiction at its best: spiritually infused, warm, and family-oriented – an atmosphere which permeates every chapter with descriptions firmly routed in family tradition and the South. – Midwest Book Review, Donovan’s Shelf
I have a new favorite writer!
Just like reading John Steinbeck’s, East of Eden, or Harper Lee’s, To Kill A Mockingbird, this story is a tale of epic proportions!
It’s about Benjamin. Benjamin has such a life, but it’s full of perseverance, and an admirable one in the end. Or rather, his life wasn’t admirable, Benjamin himself was.
I got choked up so many times throughout this book. There were even a couple times I had to put the Kindle down and come back later. It was a couple of tough moments to read. I couldn’t imagine if it was someones’ life, and having to live it. Oh no.
And see, that’s the thing. That magic thing. Bette Lee Crosby creates characters and stories that feel so real, so alive, that you can’t help but become emotionally invested.
I hadn’t read anything of hers before, and yes, this is book 3 in a series. It is very easily read as a standalone. I didn’t feel I missed a thing. I can’t wait to read more from her too. I’m hooked! – Freda’s Voice
This is definitely a book I would recommend to others; in fact I’ve already told a friend that she absolutely MUST read Passing through Perfect. Whether you’ve read the other books in the Wyattsville Series or not, you’ll find yourself drawn in and enjoying every turn of the page with this fabulous book. Thank you to Bette Lee Crosby for sharing her storytelling time and talents. – WOW! Women on Writing
I connected with the characters in this story and rooted for them as they went through their trials and struggles. The story focuses on Benjamin Church a poor farmer who falls in love with the beautiful Delia. It chronicles the struggles they encounter as they face bigotry and discrimination from some along with friendship and acceptance from others. It is a heartwarming tale that shows both the good and bad found in mankind.
I wouldn’t have picked this title up on my own. I have been interacting with the author for quite sometime and she finally convinced me I would enjoy this novel if I would just give it a chance. She was right. – I Am A Reader Not A WriterRead the Book Discussion Questions for Passing through Perfect Read an excerpt from Passing through Perfect
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