received a free kindle copy of Passing through Perfect: Memory House Collection (The Wyattsville Series Book 3) by Bette Lee Crosby in a goodreads promotion. I gave this beautifully written novel five stars.
It is a painful book to read for a former southern resident. I lived with people who acted out of ignorance the same as some of the people in Bakerstown. In the town where I lived there were two water fountains in the county courthouse with signs above them, 'white' or 'colored'. When I was six my grandmother pulled me away by the hair when I drank from the 'colored' fountain & told me never to do that again. Many years later I returned to the courthouse & the two fountains were still there. The signs had been removed but the stone wall had faded so you could still see where the signs had been. I guess it takes a long time to heal ignorance & hate.
In this story, Otis Church, father of Benjamin talked about losing his wife. "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. If you was to see me pushing the plow or chopping wood, you’d figure me a whole person—a heaving, hauling, hard of muscle and stinking of sweat man. But the truth is I ain’t been whole since this same day last year."
Describing Sylvester Crane, the landowner where Otis leased the property he farmed: "'He ain't gonna be happy no way. Long as I been on this earth, I never seen that man smile. Not once.' Otis gave his head a worrisome shake. 'A body like him's got everything to be glad about & he ain't glad about nothing. Seems God ought to give second thought to how He's handing out blessings'."
Delia Finch met Benjamin at a dance. They met secretly & fell in love. Her father, George was a preacher but not a forgiving man. He drove her away when she wanted to marry Benjamin. Her mother, Mary, slipped her twelve dollars & her grandmother's wedding band.
Delia & Benjamin moved in with Otis on the farm. Their son Isaac gave them joy. But living on a farm in Grinder's Corner sometimes was difficult. "It's a lot of making do & doing without."
Her father disowned her in spite of his being a so-called man of God. He also kept her mother tightly under control & forbid her to visit her daughter & grandson.
After her Mama & later Otis died, "Delia wore her sorrow like a heavy grey cloak wrapped around her shoulders. She gave up visiting friends & moved through the days like a snail without purpose."
She finally reached the point where she realized, "I can't be thinking of how much I lost, I gotta be thinking about how much I still got."
Describing a situation that took place, Paul said, "That kind of hatred is a terrible thing. It corrupts people from the inside out. Boils on the skin are better than bigotry. At least you can lance the boil & get the poison out. With bigotry there's nothing you
It was a poignantly haunting book that made memories resurface of injustices. It portrayed a time that was difficult to look at, even after many years have passed. I highly recommend this page turning book.
Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Passing-through-Perfect-Collection-Wyattsville-ebook/dp/B00OPBFV68/ref=sr_1_1ie=UTF8&qid=1428544625&sr=8-1&keywords=Passing+Through+Perfect