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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.