Review: The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White


Title: The Perfect Son

Author: Barbara Claypole White

Published: Lake Union Publishing July 2015

Status: Read from July 05 to 07, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

When Ella Fitzwilliam is hospitalised after a life threatening heart attack her workaholic husband, Felix, is forced to assume the daily care of his teenage son, Harry. Harry is a bright, handsome sixteen year old, with Tourette Syndrome, ADHD and anxiety, and father and son struggle to cope in Ella’s absence.

Told from the perspectives of White’s three main characters, Harry, Ella and Felix, The Perfect Son is a heart warming and poignant story about family, acceptance, trust and love. The changing dynamic of the Fitzwilliam family is beautifully crafted and White writes with insight and compassion for the complexities of a family in crisis.

Ella has always been her son’s advocate and his strongest supporter. She doesn’t regret devoting her life to ensure Harry’s well being but hovering between life and death she is forced to let go and trust her husband and son will find their way.

As a perfectionist who is uncomfortable with both physical and emotional disorder, Felix struggles to negotiate both the everyday and extraordinary challenges involved in parenting Harry. Initially Felix is largely an unsympathetic character, while devoted to his wife, his attitude towards his son is cold and critical, however as White reveals his painful back story I began to understand his inability to relate to his son, and I really enjoyed the way in which the author developed him.

Harry is a wonderful character and I was impressed with White’s well rounded portrayal of him. Harry’s neurobiological issues are a part of who he is, but that isn’t all he is. Like any other teen Harry is contemplating his options for college, falling in love, learning to drive and testing parental limits. He deals admirably with the extra pressure of his mother’s illness and his father’s cluelessness and is a special and genuine young man.

White’s secondary characters are also a delight. Ella’s closest friend, Katherine, the family’s feisty elderly neighbour, Eudora, and in particular Harry’s best friend, Max, add humour and sentiment to the plot.

Tender, funny, sad and sweet, The Perfect Son is a wonderful story that pulls at the heart strings and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

Available to purchase from

Lake Union I Amazon US I Amazon UK I Amazon AU

Indie Bound I via Booko

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ahouseofbooks
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 00:24:30

    This sounds great – thanks for the fab review! I’m adding it to my wishlist.



  2. bclaypolewhite
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 00:27:38

    I love this review! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my book baby.



  3. laurelrainsnow
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 02:37:44

    Good review! I am eager to read this one now, which I downloaded this past week. Thanks.



  4. laurelrainsnow
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 02:38:22

    Great review! I just downloaded this one…



  5. laurelrainsnow
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 02:38:46

    Sorry about the duplicates! LOL



  6. Kay
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 04:24:23

    I like the sound of this one too. Adding it to my list.



  7. Kathryn
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 07:22:07

    Great review Shellyrae, I adored this one, just hit me in the heart!

    Liked by 1 person


  8. Teddyree
    Jul 15, 2015 @ 10:30:37

    Another fab review, I seriously cannot wait to read this one!



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