Passing through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby

January 14th, 2015 Kimberly Review 61 Comments

14th Jan
Passing through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby
Passing through Perfect
by Bette Lee Crosby
Series: Wyattsville #3
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Author
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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.

Passing through Perfect by Betty Lee Crosby is the third book in the Wyattsville series but will work as a standalone. Crosby brilliantly captivates life in the late 1940’s in a small rural Alabama farming town called Grinder’s Corner. Once again, Crosby weaved her magic and held me spellbound. She has this subtle gift for bringing characters and the period to life.

Passing through Perfect, focuses on the life of Benjamin Church, a sharecropper’s son. He returns home from the war and begins farming alongside his father. It is the story of love, loss, heartache, joy and one man’s determination to provide for his family. The tale spans a good eleven years and I quickly became caught up in the characters.

Crosby clearly captures Alabama in the early 50’s and segregation. Passing through Perfect is told from a few perspectives each delivered in separate chapters. Benjamin’s is the predominant voice and I quickly connected with him. Delia and folks from Wyattsville are the others. I wondered how Crosby was going to bring Wyattsville into the story and she did so brilliantly. I laughed with these characters, felt pain for them and shed a few tears right alongside them. Benjamin is clever, soft-spoken and has this dignity about him that I could not help but admire. Delia story touched me, from her strength to her yearning for a better way of life just over the horizon.

Passing through Perfect flowed wonderfully as Crosby brought their daily lives to life while relating a powerful story about prejudice and intolerance during this period. Free but not equal. She managed to capture both the worst of man and the best of him. I think the author said it best in the notes at the beginning of the book. She mentions tales are not good or bad it is simply what it was. Her descriptive writing style allowed me to smell the collards’s, taste the heat and feel the rain on my face. The title was cleverly weaved into the tale and I smiled to myself when it happened. Memorable, poignant and powerful Passing through Perfect is a tale that will stay with you, long after the book is closed.

Fans of Diane Chamberlain will love Bette Lee Crosby’s story-telling.

Wyattsville series

*linked to Amazon

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

61 Responses to “Passing through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby”

  1. Lorna

    Since I was alive during part of that eleven year period, I guess that makes me historical! All joking aside, thanks for sharing, I like to read about post war time as well, although segregation tends to upset me.

  2. Mary

    Such an interesting but really difficult time period. There’s not a whole lot of happy at that point. Intriguing-sounding story.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is an interesting period, but we do manage to see glimpses of happiness

  3. Tyler H Jolley

    I LOVE when a book is told through several perspectives and it’s done seamlessly. It sounds like Crosby did just that. It’s such a hard thing to accomplish, but when it’ done right it’s amazing.

  4. Adriana

    “She managed to capture both the worst of man and the best of him.” – I love your description of this book. It really shows me how much you connected with the characters. I usually don’t read this setting of historical fiction but I am really interested because of your review.

  5. Angela Adams

    When I see “historical fiction,” I always think 1700s and 1800s. It’s interesting to see a read set in this time period. Thanks for the post.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      We do to tend to pigeon whole the “historical fiction” Although I saw a post about a book set in the 80’s dubbed historical fiction and it got me thinking about what classifies hitorical fiction.

  6. Sophia Rose

    I love what you are saying about this story. I’m not familiar with the series, but post-war America is an interesting era and small town, hardworker stories will always grab me.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The folks are real, their problems are real and Cosby brings it to life in full color with a depth that is memorable.

  7. Braine Talk Supe

    I’ve been recently binge watching movies set in this time period, I think it’s fascinating especially the segregation part and how African Americans fought for their rights during that time.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes I find the time period equally fascinating Braine. I think you would like this

  8. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Sounds like a good one that I need to add to my wishlist. “Free but not equal…” I’ve always wondered about that saying. If you aren’t equal you aren’t as free either. Yea, this one would make me think.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Exactly Melissa. She shows not tells this truth and I loved the story.

  9. Debbie Haupt

    Thanks Kim this looks like a series I’d really enjoy. You said it stands well alone but for a series lover like me would you recommend starting from book one, are there nuances, timelines etc that are uncovered?
    thanks for the great review, it’s why I want to read the novel

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Some of the characters cross over.but each book reflects different folks, and circumstances. Most of this book is in a different town altogether. All three books are beautifully written and have amazing characters. You cannot go wrong regardless of how you approach them.

  10. Candace

    This sounds similar to another book I’ve read and I really enjoyed it. I love the time period and setting.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Nice, I love the period too and the characters are wonderful.

  11. Heidi

    Sounds like another powerful read. I like the era and the subject matter. I need to get this read.

  12. Donna C

    Yes! I love these kinds of sagas, and I’ve been hearing lots of great buzz about this one. Another one for the tbr pile 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Wonderful author and series ..the characters are memorable.

  13. Ramona

    Oh, wow, I just got weak in the knees, lol! This is such a lovely-sounding series… I’ve said it before – my TBR pile is becoming a public hazard! Thank you for sharing this, Kimba. Hope you’re feeling better 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I feel the same way Felicia. I hope you get chance to read this

  14. Katherine

    That cover is so eye-catchingly bleak! The setting and the time period both sound really interesting. I’m glad to hear that this can be read as a stand alone. Thanks for sharing!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Katherine. I love slipping into the stories she creates

  15. Madiha

    It’s great that you loved this so much, Kim! This sounds like a beautiful book, especially in the era that it’s set in. I haven’t come across this series anywhere before but it truly sounds like an amazing read. Gorgeous review, as always, Kim 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Maditha. I enjoy her writing. Her characters become real.

  16. kindlemom1

    Love the cover!

    An whoa, I love this, from the blurb to your review, I just know this is going to be one of those reads that will stick with me.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, her characters and the places stay with you Ali. I can close my eyes and picture the farm.

  17. Nick

    This isn’t my genre, but I’m glad this book was such a success for you, Kim. The characterization seems interesting especially! Lovely review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You need to dabble in it a little Nick..I have a feeling the characters are strong enough you will become caught up.

  18. Ann Noser

    Added to goodreads. Sounds very interesting. I’m getting more and more interested in time period literature. (I mean, other than Austen and Dickens time period literature–I’ve always been interested in that)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love time period reads and love weaving them in among my fantasy reads.

  19. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I have a copy of Jubilee’s Journey…and I am asking myself why I have waited so long to begin the journey with these characters! It is moving up in my stack. Thanks for sharing and making me want to start reading immediately.

  20. Bookworm Brandee

    I love this sort of period piece – especially as it seems Crosby paints the time so well and really brings the characters to life. This series is going on my tbr. Great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Brandee each each book is uniquely different and have enjoyed them immensely.

  21. Ashley Farley

    Her cover is stunning. I am totally intrigued. Have added this one to my ever-growing TBR list.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Isn’t the cover wonderful..I personally think it is her best cover to date

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was but more than that it really captures the characters and felt so realistic.

  22. alreem

    I love your choice of books, it help me expand my TBR 🙂 lovely review

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thank you Alreem..I love reading things from all genres and comments like this just make me smile. When I was in my early twenties I tended to stay within the confounds of a few genres and others helped me dabble in new ones and discover I kind of liked traveling about and being in different worlds, times, and places.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was Cynthia and she brought the characters and landscape to life.

  23. Kathryn

    I’ve read Spare Change which I very much enjoyed and it sounds like the next two are every bit as good.

  24. Melliane

    I didn’t know about this one but it’s always nice to know we can read it as a standalone book. Plus the cover is really attractive. I’m glad you had a great time with it. I’m curious. thanks for the review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Melliane, I have enjoyed every book in this series and love that each has a different tone and can be read as standalone.