Bottom Line: Read It! (This is seriously a great book.)
From a distance, Felix Fitzwilliam, the son of an old English family, is a good husband and father. But, obsessed with order and routine, he’s a prisoner to perfection. Disengaged from the emotional life of his North Carolina family, Felix has let his wife, Ella, deal with their special-needs son by herself.
A talented jewelry designer turned full-time mother, Ella is the family rock…until her heart attack shatters their carefully structured existence. Now Harry, a gifted teen grappling with the chaos of Tourette’s, confronts a world outside his parents’ control, one that tests his desire for independence.
As Harry searches for his future, and Ella adapts to the limits of her failing health, Felix struggles with his past and present roles. To prevent the family from being ripped apart, they must each bend with the inevitability of change and reinforce the ties that bind.
Although everything about The Perfect Son has a serious undertone … heart attacks, neurological disorders, personality disorders, serious illness … I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions as I read this!
With a writing style that is at once poignant and darkly humorous, Barbara Claypole White manages to bring to life deep, complex characters who are navigating a terrible situation, yet who are finding new, better versions of themselves because of it.
I fell in love with each character at a different point in the story, and by the time it was over, I felt filled up, wrung out, exhausted and content. Which I think is a fairly lovely way to feel when you finish reading a book.