The Perfect Son

Thoughts tpsbybcw by Barbara Claypole White, Lake Union Publishing 2015, 386 pages

Challenge: none
Genre: Contemporary Lit, maybe even Med Lit if I dare subgenre it…
Type/Source: tradeback, purchased at an Indie Bookstore
 Why I read this now: I am due to meet the author next month. YIKES!

MOTIVATION for READING: I wanted to read a book by one of the authors presenting at an event I will be attending next month. I still have time to read a book or two from the other authors, too, and I just might!

OK – I got one of those odd stories where the hair stands up on the back of your neck… I was chatting with the husband about how the book I am reading had a pie reference and it was Chocolate Chess Pie – which is close to the kind of pie I made last week (Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie) and then?!

The bartender (yep, we were sitting at the bar waiting to meet friends for dinner), so the bartender says to a couple near us, “Yes, we have Chocolate Chess Pie.”

Hub and I just looked at each other all wide-eyed and frozen. It was … crazy!

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  The Perfect Son might be about a couple who has a son with Tourette’s plus a few other disorders and is a brilliant adorable sweet and cute high school kid with an equally adorable best friend who is not perceived – visually – as sweet and cute because he has tattoos and blue/black hair (maybe, I can’t quite recall what his hair color was dyed to be but let’s imagine a goth kid – and is only contrast, really).  Or… And? The adorable son has a mom who has had a very severe heart attack. The adorable son has a control freak dad with his own issues who must now step it up and be a FATHER – the kind of father that is involved and caring. Everyone has to find a way to get along with this new lifestyle. It is anything but easy.

WHAT’s GOOD: Everything. I loved all the characters even though I thought I was going to hate the dad in the beginning because well, he is NOT likable (by design, duh) but he manages to control some of his demons and TRY. So many wonderful women in this. We really don’t get much of Mom, more of an idea of her through some of her thoughts but mostly from conversations with Dad and Son and mom’s friends interacting with said dad and son.

What’s NOT so good: I don’t want to suggest that I paused about half way and wondered what the conflict was going to be but I can gladly say it doesn’t really matter that I paused and had that thought. Right? And sure enough, we had the pace step up and wham! and we get the event for climax and a satisfying denouement and yay, all is well with the world. Well, that is too simple and isn’t accurate. I’d say more but I’ll spoil something and that is NO. FUN.  I’ll see if I can refrain from adding TMI in my tags… ha!

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s good. I really liked it. I’m more than glad to have read it. I cried only a tiny bit.

LOTS of medical details about heart attacks and stuff involved with such and Tourette’s and anxiety and other things they give acronyms to but not ever presented in a tiring way. All well done.

RATING:  Four slices of Chocolate Chess Pie, of course! With whipped cream. (And I don’t care what the Brits say, SOME of the ‘real’ whipped cream in a can is awesome and gosh darn convenient.)




And, no, we didn’t get Chocolate Chess Pie for dessert. Fooled ya?! We had the Affogato instead…



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15 thoughts on “The Perfect Son

  1. bclaypolewhite

    Thanks for the virtual chocolate chess pie. (Yes, I did eat a slice while I was writing THE PERFECT SON–all in the name of research for the cafe scene with Felix and Katherine.) However, I have to disagree with you about cream. (My guys are on your side, so this is an old argument for me.) Sorry but cream that has sugar added and comes out of a can? To quote Queen Victoria, “We are not amused.” See you next month! 🙂

    1. Hello! I put Scratch on my Yelp bookmark list to visit. I haven ventured to Raleigh a few times but not yet to Durham nor Hillsborough but SO MANY wonderful restaurants – or so I hear.

      RE: whipped cream – I don’t prefer the canned kind but it works in a pinch. It’s kinda like comparing cheeses – some are of course superior but that doesn’t stop me from claiming a love for Velveeta in the right circumstances (an admission that shocks most people in New England but never a Midwesterner like me.)

  2. Oh, isn’t it nice that i already have this one on my Kindle. Haven’t read it, but will try to make it a point to try it soon. And that $2 deal is a good one!

  3. Did you ever feel like the book was written just to get the illness out into the internets? I sometimes (well, often) shy away from books about conditions because I feel as if the story is just written to put the condition out there for research purposes.

    1. Yes and no. That might be part of the motivation – every author has SOMETHING to say; if well done in delivery and well researched, so what? But if you don’t like, skip. We read to learn things, too, yes? 🙂

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