Passing through Perfect

Passing through Perfect

4.7 26
by Bette Lee Crosby
     
 

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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. GRITTY SOUTHERN FICTION AT ITS FINEST - Midwest Book Review... 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,

Overview

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. GRITTY SOUTHERN FICTION AT ITS FINEST - Midwest Book Review... 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.

2015 Readers Favorite Award for Southern Fiction Gold Medal

Editorial Reviews

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! ...And see, that the thing. The Magic Thing. Bette Lee Crosby creates characters and stories that feel so real, so alive, you can't help but become emotionally invested.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780997796032
Publisher:
Bent Pine Publishing
Publication date:
07/23/2016
Series:
The Wyattsville Series , #3
Pages:
254

Meet the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. “Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.” Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since then, she has gone on to win another twenty four literary awards, including the Royal Palm Literary Award, The Reviewer’s Choice Award, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal and the Reader’s Favorite International Book Award Gold Medal. Her published novels to date are: Cracks in the Sidewalk (2009), Spare Change (2011), The Twelfth Child (2012), Cupid’s Christmas (2012), What Matters Most (2013), Jubilee’s Journey (2013), Previously Loved Treasures (2014), Blueberry Hill, A Sister’s Story (2014) Passing through Perfect (2015), Memory House (2015), The Loft (2015), What the Heart Remembers (2015), Baby Girl (2016), Regrets of Cyrus Dodd (2016), and Silver Threads (2016). She also authored “Life in the Land of IS” a memoir of Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world’s longest living quadriplegic.

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Passing through Perfect 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
D_Donovan More than 1 year ago
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. 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. 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. Any interested in Southern atmosphere and family ties injected with a dose of spiritual reflection will find this a powerful, moving read.
grandmareads102 3 months ago
Benjamin Church works hard and sacrifices for his loved ones. He does it willingly. He knows all to well that his dreams are destined for failure, but he shoulders on. He understands what is expected of him. Living in Grinder's Corner, Alabama is filled with hard work and prayers that the weather will allow you to survive. Benjamin has accepted his place in Southern society. He knows that all he has are Delia and his boy, Isaac. They are his joy. When his wife is killed by a drunk driver, he is confident that justice will prevail. What happens next broke my heart. Bette Lee Crosby has written a powerful story that drew me in from the first page. Benjamin is a memorable character. I admired his drive and determination. His desire to provide for and protect his family is an inspiration. The tenderness and love that he had for his wife made me weep. Delia was his one and only love. When he and Isaac leave their home to find a better life, I was hopeful that he would be successful. As I followed his journey, I saw that people regardless of where they live are ruled by fear. This is an amazing and powerful story that left me numb. Bette Lee Crosby is an extraordinary author. Her characters tug at my heart. The story is well-crafted and the message is timeless. I wish my review could do justice to this book. I received a copy in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I realy enjoyed the honest presentation.
saraphen 7 months ago
This is the second book I have read by Bette Lee Crosby. I enjoyed The Twelfth Child, and the author contacted me to read her latest book Passing through Perfect. She provided an ebook download for me to read and provide a review. I told her I was stacked up reading two other books, but once I read the first two pages, I moved the other books down in my stack. I was hooked. The author warned me that the story was told by a young black man in Alabama during the Jim-Crow era, and I supposed that she wanted to know if his voice rang true. I didn't tell her that I grew up in Virginia in the Jim-Crow era, a time when public accommodations were restricted to "Whites Only," and as a little girl riding my tricycle around the block, I was told I didn't belong on that street. But on to the story of Benjamin Church and the love of his life, Delia. I guess I loved them both. For me to be hooked on a story there has to be at least one character I cared about. This novel gave me many. But there were antagonists on both sides of the racial divide. Delia's father was a preacher, graduate of Howard University, one of the foremost HBCU's in the USA. Rev. Finch could not accept Delia's relationship with Benjamin, a sharecropper. And when he learned that Delia was pregnant, he disowned her. Benjamin and Delia made the best of their hard life on the farm, with Benjamin's Daddy, and their son Isaac. Life in Grinder's Corner wasn't so bad because they had friends on neighboring farms, and everybody was struggling poor. It was only when they went to the larger town that they had to deal with the signs that said, "No Colored," and Delia realized she wanted a better life for their son Isaac. The story was a page-turner. The only thing that didn't ring true for me was the broken English spoken by Delia. I expected the dialect from Benjamin as he had been educated in a one-room school with sparse resources, and his parents had not graduated from high school. Delia on the other hand was the only child of well-educated parents, and she herself attended a private school. When I think of my own late parents who graduated from Morris Brown College in 1924, I remember their love of good diction, and love of books. I would expect the same for Delia. But I really liked the book, and will be looking for more from this author.
ReadersFavorite3 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite Bette Lee Crosby writes a tale of devotion in Passing Through Perfect. Benjamin returns to Grinder’s Corner, AL, after WWII. For him life changed, but for his hometown much remains the same. He had big dreams, but his dreams were small compared to the world around him. Benjamin resigns his dreams and becomes a farmer, like his father, and his father’s father before him. That is just how it was for a Negro in the south. Benjamin meets Delia and it is love at first sight. Their love blossoms. Before long, Delia becomes pregnant and the young couple weds. Their happiness comes with a price – Delia’s father disowns her! Times were hard, and heartache abundant, but the young couple learns to count their blessings instead of their losses. Tragedy strikes! The line that divides black and white is no longer blurred, it is ugly and unjust. Leaving Alabama, Benjamin wonders “how far north did a man need to travel to reach a place where people were color blind?” “Folks don’t live in perfect, they just get to pass through every so often.” Passing Through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby is an inspiring dramatic journey, revealing the depth of human devotion. Set in the deep south, it is not a fairy tale story, but one full of historical realism. Crosby is a precise and committed storyteller. She focuses on the depth of love more than racial prejudice; however, bigotry is the underlying force that drives the plot to its climax. Throughout the narrative, Crosby shares the inner intimate thoughts of her characters. This technique adds depth to the storyline and exposes character growth. The writing style is beautifully figurative, it is full of meaningful metaphors. Depicting extreme conflicts, Passing Through Perfect is a story of unfailing love and unmerited hatred. A tale of overcoming the evil intentions of man with good and honorable acts of kindness. It is a story that looks at the heart of a man, not the color of his skin.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kristine Hall for Readers' Favorite Passing Through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby places readers in 1940s Alabama as Benjamin Church is returning to his childhood home after four years serving in the army. Grinder's Corner hasn't changed much, but Benjamin's mother is dead, the farm is near ruin, and his father is frail and has lost his zest for living. Benjamin, who left as a boy but is now a man, takes over farming and soon he and Delia, a girl from a neighboring town, are head-over-heels in love. Passing Through Perfect is full of consequences for paths chosen, with Delia's choice to become Benjamin's wife as one of the first paths that leads to both joy and heartache. Despite the bigotry and discrimination he repeatedly encounters as the years pass -- and the anguish it causes when tragedy strikes -- Benjamin perseveres and finds healing, hope, and friendship in most unexpected places. Bette Lee Crosby has written a historically accurate fiction story that will tug at readers' heartstrings and cause tears of happiness, sadness, and even rage as they read Benjamin's story. It was truly painful to experience the hate, discrimination, and bigotry that existed (exists) in the south. People of color were dehumanized, but Benjamin never gave up, instead rising above it, always being true to himself, his family, and to God. The writing was outstanding and the characters were richly drawn, each with very real, unique personalities and traits, making them utterly lovable or completely loathsome. Passing Through Perfect forces readers to focus on what's truly important in life, and as Benjamin reminds us, “Perfect ain’t a place. It’s a time when everything’s good and we’re happy. Folks don’t live in perfect, they just get to pass through every so often.” Passing Through Perfect is book three of the Wyattsville series, but it stands alone and I intend to read the first two in the series -- I am solidly a Bette Lee Crosby fan now. Though it's an adult novel, I also recommend it for young adults because the lessons are so important. Readers will encounter moderate, occasional profanity, some crudeness and violence, a few references to sex, and racial slurs, but everything works contextually.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Passing through Perfect: The Wyattsville Series, Book 3 is a historical fiction novel written by Betty Lee Crosby. It's the story of Benjamin Church, a young African American who grew up and lived in Grinder's Corner, Alabama, in the 1940s and 1950s. He served in the Air Force during World War II and became an ace mechanic. When his tour was up, he went back home to Grinder's Corner. While he was serving, his mother died, but his father, Otis, was still alive and working the small farm that the family leased. Benjamin quickly realized the difficulties Otis was having keeping up, and he began to take over the hard work. Fearing that Benjamin was forgetting to enjoy his youth, Otis encouraged him to go to dances and meet young women. One of those young women, Delia, a parson's daughter, caught his eye and Benjamin knew right away that he would marry her. I was entranced reading Betty Lee Crosby's historical novel, Passing through Perfect: The Wyattsville Series, Book 3. Crosby deftly brings to life a family and a culture, and the devastating impact that the separate and rarely equal ideology of the deep South had on African Americans in the 20th century. Benjamin is such an inspirational character. While the color of his skin kept him from achieving his dream of learning to fly in the Air Force, the mechanic skills he learned while serving are the building blocks that, together with his hard work and dedication, make his mark in society. He's not the only unforgettable character in Passing Through Perfect. Otis, known as Daddy Church to Delia, and the Klaussners are just a few of the bright stars shining in this historical fiction of what were very dark times for African Americans. Crosby's writing is fluid and careful never to slip into sentimentalism. Passing through Perfect is very nearly a perfect novel and, indeed, often exceeds that very exacting standard. It was the first book written by this author that I've read, and it will by no means be the last. Passing through Perfect: The Wyattsville Series, Book 3 is most highly recommended.
anaamelia More than 1 year ago
I have read several of Bette's books and loved them all - but this one captivated and moved me so profoundly I am out of words. Beautiful characters, but still the presence of the horrible bigotry and segregation of the times and place. This is my all time Bette favorite and everyone should read it immediately if not before! I guarantee it will make you reflect and look at your own values and habits. A beautiful, beautiful story!
MissBethBC More than 1 year ago
Wow, what an awesome read. I don't even know where to begin. I will begin by stating what an awesome and deep author Bette Lee Crosby is. I wasn't expecting to love Passing Through Perfect as I did. But it is a must read in my humble opinion. This book tells the story of Benjamin Church, a young man returned home after his stint in the army in 1946. His mama has passed, his daddy is saddened at the loss and needs help on the Alabama farm. It is the story of a black man who decides to fulfill his love for family by becoming a farmer rather than seeking to fulfill his dreams of becoming a mechanic. It is the story of life and death....moving on and the ever resilient nature of the human being. So many things in life slap our faces....for Benjamin, it was bad weather, poverty, hard times, death of loved ones and moving on in the poorest of times. My favorite quote: "Perfect ain't a place," he said. "It's a time when everything's good and we're happy. Folks don't live in perfect, they just get to pass through every so often." And that just about sums it all up. We all pass through perfect once in awhile, and are blessed beyond words for it. Thank you Bette Lee for introducing us to Benjamin and sharing his life wisdom.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
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.
BookMomto6 More than 1 year ago
Set in post World War II south, Passing Through Perfect tells of Benjamin Church and his life upon returning home from the war. He was sure post-war Alabama would be different but it was almost the same as when he left home. His father feels Benjamin needs a woman so makes he goes to a dance where he finds Delia, not the woman his father took him to meet but the woman he knows he will marry before their first dance is done. Delia's parents do not like Benjamin but when they must marry, instead of accepting the couple, Delia's father disowns her and says he will never speak to her again. The lessons Benjamin learns both while in the segregated South and while trying to take his son north for a better life are lessons we should all think about sharing with others. We should all help those who are in need and know that God will help us when we need it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read 6 of the books she has published and looking forward to her latest work.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This is a well written story that made me laugh and cry..  It takes place after WWII when Benjamin comes home and soon meets Delia.  They marry and live on a farm with his dad.  Many things happen in their lives that are happy and sad.  I loved the story..  I received this from ebook for review for a fair and honest opinion.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Passing Through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby is a trip back to a time when many believed the color of one’s skin was more important than the quality of one’s heart. Benjamin Church returned from his tour in World War II, a well-trained mechanic who had wanted to be a pilot, but one look at his skin and those in position held him back. Now a poor farmer in Alabama, his world lit up again when he met Delia, a preacher’s daughter, with her love for life and sweet innocence. It was a coming together of two hearts that had their share of tough times and sorrow, but held strong to each other through life’s trials and broken dreams. One drunken man, one prejudiced world and Delia was gone, leaving Benjamin to raise his young son alone. This is the story of their journey to find happiness and a world where they would be accepted as humans with good hearts and something to offer the world. Would leaving the divided South be the answer? Are they ready to accept their place in a world where the color of a man’s skin meant less than the color of his heart? Will they pass through perfect to find exactly what they need? Is perfect just an ideal, while reality is what you make it? Bette Lee Crosby’s world is one of the words of history actually coming to life in a much more personal way. Reading the cold and emotionless historical tomes could never imprint on one’s soul the way Ms. Crosby has with her heart-felt way of telling a story of a good man trying to make his way in a world that holds him back, until he begins to accept that where he is, is where he should stay. A parent’s dream for their child drove Benjamin to reach higher and accept help from others. Perhaps his brand of gratitude made each of the people whose lives he touched richer for having known him a as person. Through Bette Lee Crosby’s softly flowing words, her story unfolds like a blooming rose in a bed of flowers, but like a rose, there are thorns along the way to the beauty.
klm1972KM More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by this author but it won't be the last. There are so many things I loved about this book that I just am not sure where to start. I have never been drawn to the particular time period setting of this book (the 40s and 50s), but as an avid reader if the synopsis of the book hooks me, as this one did, I'll read it. I loved the author's voice throughout this book, in all of it's many incarnations. Her character development was extraordinary and I felt like I was right there, meeting these people, and, in most cases, learning to love them. I hated Delia's Daddy and was disappointed by her Mama, but I also could relate to their disappointment in Delia. I cried when Benjamin discovered Delia and Isaac on Cross Corners Road and when they left Grinder's Corner and Wyattsville. I was incensed at the injustice that Benjamin and his family and friends experienced and I loved the depth that the author brought to the interactions surrounding the petition on Bloom Street. I think that this was so much more than a good story. It was a character study and a story about our past, about love and honor and integrity and hardship and loss and hurt and friendship and family and hope. I bookmarked so many passages but I think my favorite, outside of the one that finally explains the title just too perfectly for words, was this one: "Benjamin had spent a sleepless night. Not because of the decision he'd had to make; that was inevitable and he's known it from the start. It was the sadness in his heart that held sleep at bay, the sadness of leaving people who felt like family. It was an odd sort of family--Sidney, Jewish; Carmella, Catholic; Paul and Jubilee, orphaned children of a West Virginia coal miner; Benjamin with skin dark as night and Isaac a light coffee color that was somewhere between him and Delia. No two of them the same, yet they fit together like different pieces of fabric in a quilt. A quilt that, despite the mix of colors, felt cozy and warm." This book is a wonder and I know I will most likely read it again just because I already miss the characters and their insights into life and love. I think it would make an excellent assigned reading book for a high school English class and plan to recommend it to as many people as I can!
SherryF More than 1 year ago
Now I know the meaning of 'Are we our brother's keepers' I would like to start with the cover. Bette Lee Crosby’s cover gives you a glimpse of the story inside. Her sweet, southern charm comes through the pages and wraps around me with loving arms. Passing Through Perfect brought forth so many emotions that I kept my tissues at my side. That is not unusual for a Bette Lee novel. With each novel in the Wyattsville series I say it is the best, but the best one is the next one. The story includes chapters of the characters thoughts and feelings – Benjamin, Delia, Camella, Sidney and Martha’s. We get an up close and personal invitation to share their lives. The characters had me crying for them, yelling for them, wanting to protect and shelter them from all the harsh realities of life. The story takes place in Grinders Corner, a small town in Alabama. Benjamin Church came home from war, to see nothing had changed. Benjamin had thought of being a mechanic. He had learned to repair almost anything mechanical during his time in the service. This is a time in history where the shift was from working for yourself to working for someone else. But, he knew he would be a farmer like his father and his father before him. He is a sharecroppers son and the world did not look kindly on blacks in 1946. The landowner, Sylvester Crane, is a sorry excuse for a human being. Benjamen’s dad struggles after the loss of his wife. Sometimes when a mate dies, the other person is not far behind. Do they lose their will to live? Everything in Grinders Corner is the same for Benjamin, until he lays eyes on Delia. Delia is a preachers daughter. Her father heads the New Unity Church. She has a zest for life and it was love at first sight for Benjamin. I guess we can see where this is going. He courted her in the proper manner, with courtesy and respect. Ben’s love is strong, gentle and true. The preacher had a holier than thou attitude and looked down his nose at Benjamin. He didn’t think Benjamin was good enough for his Delia. Don’t a lot of parents think that way, even if their child is grown? Our kids are always our kids and we want the best for them. On the other hand, as kids, our parents are our heroes. “You made your bed, now lie in it.” Have you ever heard those words? Bette’s descriptions of the simplest things brings the times and people to life, their sorrow and pain, their joy and happiness. I can picture Benjamin standing in front of the deputy with his weather beaten straw hat in hand and his eyes looking down at the floor. Bette talks about the sun and heat of the south. If you have not experienced it, you will find it hard to feel the intensity of the suns rays as they beat down on you, the thickness of the muggy air as you struggle to draw breath and the fact that you are soaked to the skin shortly after stepping outside. The heat builds during the day and it is not unusual for there to be afternoon rain. In the 1940s, bigotry and racial hatred was in your face. Go to the back door. For Whites Only. No Coloreds. I know it’s coming and I ruefully wait for the hammer to fall. And it does. Tragically. People sometimes find themselves not really living, just getting through. There is heartwrenching sorrow and despair. Overriding guilt. Life isn’t fair! Is the grass greener on the other side? “It ain’t the preaching that makes a man godly, its the doing.” I get to page 91 and tears form in my eyes, but I will not let them fall. SO SAD. We all handle grief and loss in our own way. I am reading through teary eyes, but I can’t stop. With Bette’s writing, I knew this would break my heart, but she will not leave me feeling lost. She will help me find my way. She will show me that people are more good than bad. They will give, even when they don’t have much of their own. “I can’t be thinking of how much I lost, I gotta be thinking of how much I still got.” Well, what can I say. I am pretty much teary eyed through the rest of the story. “Sometimes life provided opportunities to reach out and make a difference, and when that happened a man worth his salt had to step up to the challenge.” “Are we out brother’s keeper’s?” The saying – It Takes A Village – answers that question. “Folks don’t live in PERFECT, they just get to pass through every so often.” What a wonderful statement. Amazing writing and it stuns me that this genre of book can affect me so deeply. I am more of the action, shoot ‘em up, creatures chasing me variety. Even though Bette’s books end happily, with a warm and comfortable feeling, there are bumps and jolts throughout. My feelings for Benjamin were anger and rage, sadness and despair, happiness and . He was a better person than I. He dealt with his responsibilities in an intelligent, loving and gentle way, sacrificing for others and doing the right thing. You can choose which you want to be – bigoted and angry or laughing and loving. Very thought provoking and the book will stick with me long after reading it. I received a copy in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts I read this book last week and then watched The Golden Globes Sunday night and though I have not seen the movie Selma yet, I thought all three of these things tied together nicely. With what has been happening around the country civil rights are still a huge issue even after all these years since that march from Selma to Montgomery. Rap singer Common said this in his speech as the Golden Globes when he won the award for Best Musical Score, The first day I stepped on the set of Selma, I began to think this was bigger than a movie. As I got to know people of the civil rights movement, I realized: I am the hopeful black woman who was denied her right to vote; I am the caring white supporter, killed on the front lines of freedom; I am the unarmed black kid who maybe needed a hand but was instead given a bullet; I am the two fallen police officers murdered in the line of duty. Selma has awakened my humanity. Bette Lee Crosby’s Passing through Perfect takes us to Alabama when people of color entered only through the back door of white people’s houses and had separate bathrooms and water fountains. A time when colored people were not allowed in most stores. We have come past those times or have we. We have elected an African American President, but a portion of the country, including some members of Congress that do not support him because his father was a black man. We still have people who are being judged by the color of their skin by the police, by employers, by their neighbors. They are also judged by their economic status no matter what color their skin is. People living in poverty are considered lazy and living for government handouts. All these things are in Crosby’s book. Benjamin and Delia are both black. Benjamin is a farmer and a veteran. Delia’s father is a preacher. He believes Benjamin is not good enough from his daughter. Love doesn’t matter. Delia has to make a huge sacrifice to be with the man she loves. Then she sees the other side of life for people of color. Not every town in like her home town of Twin Pines. Grinder’s Corner is so small that they need to go to a bigger city for supplies and there are only a few places she and Benjamin are even allowed to enter. Even when Benjamin heads North and reaches Wyattsville everyone is not thrilled by his arrival. It even pits neighbor against neighbor. Crosby has written a powerful and moving story. Every story I have read by this author has stayed with long past the final word. There are spots that bring a smile and several that may cause you to shed a tear. Her characters are so engaging you immediately feel invested in their lives and you hope and pray they have better days ahead. I also hope and pray that people today that are being judged and held back have better days ahead. That there will be income equality, a stronger middle class, less people living in poverty, great education everyone can afford and that we all have equal rights. We have come so far in so many ways but have taken great steps backward in others. I wonder what historical novels written about 2014 will say about equality. This book has really made me think about what future generations may have to say. What stories will a future Bette Lee Crosby write?
macjam47 More than 1 year ago
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.This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Passing through Perfect is a wonderful Southern Historical Fiction novel that will stir your soul. Set in the small town of Grinder's Corner, Alabama, author Bette Lee Crosby draws the reader into the inspirational tale that follows Benjamin Church and his family as they struggle to live and work in the racially troubled South's time period of the 1940-1950s. This is a heartwarming story that only Bette Lee could tell in a thoughtful style that transports the reader back to a time when Benjamin and his family endured horrible racial discrimination in the South, and how they survived with powerful faith and grace. This is a beautifully written and seamless story that is part of a wonderful series, but can be a stand alone read. Bette weaves a tale that brings back beloved characters from the previous books in The Wyattsville Series, while introducing the reader to a cast of new characters who are just as memorable. With a rich description of the time period and setting, and a inspirational story that makes the reader ponder about one of the most difficult time periods in our nation, author Bette Lee Crosby weaves a compelling and emotional story with a thoughtful message that will resonate with the reader for quite some time. Passing through Perfect is an amazing story of love, loss, family, faith, and trust. Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Crandomblog More than 1 year ago
I read this book from November 13 to 22, 2014. I have been reading a lot lately, thanks to baby not making me nearly as sick as she/he was doing. I have been thinking a lot about this book and the characters in it, analyzing them even after the book is done. The first thing I noticed about this novel was that it was written to tell a story and it was written in such a way that it took me a good while to realized that the main characters in the novel were black. I am no bigot myself, so some of the things that the main characters went through made me sick to my stomach. While I have no doubt that this is how it was back in the 1940-50’s, there were many times where I wanted to climb into the book and beat someone up. It made me sad to realized that this issue is still alive in some areas today, even if it is not nearly as bad as it was back then. I came to love Benjamin as a friend and he goes through so much that at times I may have pitied him, but I never lost my respect for him. It wasn’t until I finished the book that I felt a moment of remorse, it was over… and that was all that I got. Bette Lee Crosby is so amazing at writing stories that you really do get attached to the characters and it makes a world of a difference. I will also wonder what happened to the characters in this novel, but I also know that in my mind they are living happily ever after and sometimes… sometimes that is good enough. If you are looking for a book that will take you on a whirlwind of adventure, something that deals with everything from love to loss, then this novel is for you. It just so happens to be my favorite read of 2014. I think you should check it out in 2015!
jaxlane More than 1 year ago
I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I cannot say enough about this author. This is by far my favorite book she has written. The intense emotional journey that Benjamin Church goes on is gripping and compelling. You can feel Bette's southern flair for writing in each of her books, but rooted in Alabama during a time of racial inequality, this book will grab a hold of you and make you feel like you are a character in the book. An excellent addition to the Wyattsville series by one of my favorite storytellers. Kudos on my favorite book so far this year. If you have not yet taken the time to read her books, I would highly recommend them. 5 STARS
MisfitGeek More than 1 year ago
This book was an absolute pleasure to read. It is without a doubt one of the very best books I have read this year. It grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go. It was captivating and authentic to time and place. Although the book is part of a series, it is easily enjoyed as a standalone book. All of the books in the series are quality reads but this is the best so far. I struggle to find words to adequately describe my feelings for this book. It is a powerful and moving story. I found myself emotionally attached to the characters in this book quite quickly. It didn’t take me long to develop a deep respect and admiration for Benjamin. He was a hard-working man with dignity and integrity. His journey was difficult but it did not make him a hard or resentful man and it very well could have. I highly recommend this book. Bette has a special talent for storytelling. She understands that there is ugliness in humanity and doesn’t shy away from integrating this reality into her stories in a masterful way. Not only is she an extremely talented author but she shows genuine respect and values her readers. I was provided an ARC of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Passing through Perfect: The Wyattsville Series, Book 3 is a historical fiction novel written by Betty Lee Crosby. It's the story of Benjamin Church, a young African American who grew up and lived in Grinder's Corner, Alabama, in the 1940s and 1950s. He served in the Air Force during World War II and became an ace mechanic. When his tour was up, he went back home to Grinder's Corner. While he was serving, his mother died, but his father, Otis, was still alive and working the small farm that the family leased. Benjamin quickly realized the difficulties Otis was having keeping up, and he began to take over the hard work. Fearing that Benjamin was forgetting to enjoy his youth, Otis encouraged him to go to dances and meet young women. One of those young women, Delia, a parson's daughter, caught his eye and Benjamin knew right away that he would marry her. I was entranced reading Betty Lee Crosby's historical novel, Passing through Perfect: The Wyattsville Series, Book 3. Crosby deftly brings to life a family and a culture, and the devastating impact that the separate and rarely equal ideology of the deep South had on African Americans in the 20th century. Benjamin is such an inspirational character. While the color of his skin kept him from achieving his dream of learning to fly in the Air Force, the mechanic skills he learned while serving are the building blocks that, together with his hard work and dedication, make his mark in society. He's not the only unforgettable character in Passing Through Perfect. Otis, known as Daddy Church to Delia, and the Klaussners are just a few of the bright stars shining in this historical fiction of what were very dark times for African Americans. Crosby's writing is fluid and careful never to slip into sentimentalism. Passing through Perfect is very nearly a perfect novel and, indeed, often exceeds that very exacting standard. It was the first book written by this author that I've read, and it will by no means be the last. Passing through Perfect: The Wyattsville Series, Book 3 is most highly recommended.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Well would prob have bought the book, but after you self centered persons I will not. WE CAN READ FOR OURSELVES! We don't need your novella size book reports. Knock it off. Nobody cares what you think! One lousy sentence will do it.
lilacqueen75 More than 1 year ago
(4.5 Stars) I must admit that this is not a book that I would normally pick up. However, I have heard really good things about the author and when I was approached to review it, I agreed. I was absolutely blown away at how good it was. It's Book 3 in the series and I never once felt lost or confused--it definitely stands alone. The characters were very well developed and the plot portrayed life in the Deep South just after WWII in a very realistic way. My emotions were tugged all over the place. I was surprised to find that prejudices didn't always occur between blacks and whites, but even between blacks and blacks and whites and whites. Benjamin is a very stable, loyal, hard-working, upstanding citizen and man. Almost from the first, beautiful Delia catches his eye and after one night, he's hooked. She was raised in better conditions, but doesn't hesitate to follow her heart, no matter the cost. I love the way Delia makes the best of situations. I love her character and her determination to shoot for the stars. I love the emphasis on close family relationships and friendships. The importance for having good core values and strong characteristics is really prevalent. This story is woven with love, racial tensions and injustices, as well as forgiveness and acceptance. There is so much feeling placed in each situation and character and I was deeply moved. Content: moderate language; romance (implied intimate situations--just says they made love with no details given); mild violence (death, discrimination--not graphic); mild religious elements (religious people, but not preachy). *I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*