This is another selection from the infamous FB group, but I never wanted to read it when they first started talking about it. It’s historical fiction and I wasn’t into this genre until I started my deep dive into black history a few months ago. Getting into black history changed my perspective, and eventually, my reading preferences changed.
I’m so glad that I gave this one a real chance b/c I really would have missed out on such an amazing author and book. I mean, I would have stayed blind to the greatness it had to share. This book gives you all it has to offer and a few things you didn’t ask for, but in a good way according to the people, so I was intrigued. Here are my impressions of the book while I was reading it, post here and here.
Perfect Peace by Daniel Black
It’s 1940 in Conway County, Arkansas. First, we meet the parents: Emma Jean and her husband, Gus Peace. Together, they have six boys: James Earl, Authorly (Arthur Lee), Woody, King “Sol,” Blind “Bartimaeus,” and Mister. With each of the subsequent pregnancies following Woody, they just knew they would be finally having a girl. Much to their chagrin, they continued to bring boys into the world.
Now, Emma Jean is pregnant again for the seventh time and Gus is very disinterested b/c he didn’t want any more children after their last boy. He feels tricked and cheated with his baby, but he will love the child no matter what they have, after all, its almost here. We open with the birth of the new baby, who Emma Jean named Perfect.
Of course, it’s a very unusual name, and Emma Jean is questioned about it by everyone she knows, but she defends her decision. However, what transpires after the birth of this child are a lot of secrets, strange behavior, lies, and deceit for years to come. Emma Jean risks it all with one very bad and selfish decision. The journey is a bumpy and tumulous one, but well worth the ride.
Gender is a very interesting subject. Yes, we still have the normal two, girls and boys that are assigned at birth. However, since the world is ever-changing and people evolve, there have been additions such as nonbinary, transgender, cisgender, and others that I don’t have much knowledge of without Google. At one point, parents were happy with the gender they got b/c that’s something they had no control over. But now that gender is something that can be changed and is on a spectrum, people can change into the gender they believe they were meant to be.
For example, if a person was born a boy, but believe they were meant to be a girl, they can have surgery, take medication, and repress the masculine side of themselves and become a woman. Some real-world examples of transgender females are Dominique Jackson, MJ Rodriquez, Janet Mock, Indya Moore, Angelique Ross, Laverne Cox, and countless others that have done or are interested in doing the same thing.
Personally, I don’t have an issue with people who seek to be comfortable in their own skin, whatever that means for them. I just wish that people didn’t have such an issue with something that has nothing to do with them since this is obviously a personal decision. My hope is that more people stop pushing their personal morals and beliefs on others and let folks live their lives. I hope that people learn to LISTEN and ACCEPT their child, not shun or ostracize them for their decisions. That’s a rant for another post.
This book was AMAZING!! I couldn’t stop reading it and hated to put it down. I mean, I connected with this book in a way that I haven’t connected to a book in a long time. What I mean is that learning about someone’s past can tell you about who they are today. That’s psychology, which is what I studied and mastered in graduate school.
Anyway, I definitely recommend that you read this book if you haven’t already. I mean, it starts out with a punch and it doesn’t quite let you down until the end. The utter disgust you have with the characters and even when you find out why, it still doesn’t relieve that bad taste in your mouth. To me, that’s more than a good read… that’s a helluva ride!
If you happen to read this book, please comment below. I’d love to know your thoughts.