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The Perfect Son by [White, Barbara Claypole]
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The Perfect Son Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 3,004 customer reviews

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Length: 398 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Audible book:
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From the Editor

This is a story about imperfect love.

It hooked me from the start. A woman on a plane swallows back what she thinks is heartburn. Ella simply cannot get sick. She’s long been the backbone of her family—taking care of everything and everyone. By the seventh page, though, we realize that Ella is fighting off much more than a case of indigestion. It’s here that author Barbara Claypole White demonstrates her deft hand, throwing a narrative thunderbolt—one that will forever change Ella’s life and the lives of those she loves the most.

Back home Ella and her family are flung into chaos. At this point I completely lost myself in the characters. Each member of the family has to learn new roles, and things get messy. Very messy. Ella has to rely on her husband, Felix, to care for the house and Harry, their brilliant seventeen-year-old son afflicted by Tourette’s. Largely absent since Harry’s diagnosis—both emotionally and physically—Felix is a perfectionist, putting him at odds with Harry, who is far from perfect.

But never once did I lose faith in the characters. That’s the genius of what Barbara has done here. She’s exquisitely rendered a family in conflict whose love for one another is entirely real. As a mother, daughter, and wife, I’m very familiar with this sort of love. It’s messy, complicated, bittersweet, and altogether beautiful.

- Jodi Warshaw, Editor

Editorial Reviews


“Barbara Claypole White’s novel, The Perfect Son, is a riveting and passionate emotional journey that proves the transforming power that love can have on life and family.” —Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times Bestselling Author

“What a moving, funny, beautifully told story! You will ache for Felix and Harry, with their big, quirky brains and their good hearts, as they grapple with the threat of loss and struggle, for the first time, to truly know and trust one another. I love these characters and this book!” —Marisa de Los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Belong To Me and The Precious One

Steel Magnolias for this generation of ex-pats trying to find their way in the world. With clear-eyed insight and empathy, The Perfect Son captures the ache and beauty of love in its many forms. In a beautifully told story, Barbara Claypole White takes us on a poignant journey through the minds and hearts of a mother, a father, and their eccentric son. As they all learn to love through loss, change, and fear, we as readers just might find our hearts as the characters find theirs.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of The Idea of Love

“In The Perfect Son, White has crafted a tightly-wound tale of a family on the brink of unravelling that somehow manages to find a way to make it through. These unconventional, fully-formed characters became real to me as I followed their emotional roller-coaster. Poignant and affecting—it's a great read for your book club!” —Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of Hidden and Forgotten

“With empathy and heartbreaking clarity, Barbara Claypole White explores a family on the precipice of collapse. With the unexamined past coloring their present, a father’s only hope to accept his son’s limitations and be strong for his ailing wife is in finding the resilience to face his own imperfections. The Perfect Son offers insight, compassion, and hope.” —Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of Accidents of Marriage, The Comfort of Lies, and The Murderer’s Daughters

The Perfect Son is about the roles we settle into in families—The Caretaker, The Neglector, The High-Maintenance One—and the upheaval that occurs when crisis strikes and everyone needs to take on a new, unfamiliar role. It's about raising complicated children, and the strain that places on a marriage. But above all, The Perfect Son is about love, and its ability to guide us out of our comfort zones and help us rebuild when all around us has shattered.” —Julie Lawson Timmer, author of Five Days Left

About the Author

English born and educated, Barbara Claypole White lives in the North Carolina forest with her family. Inspired by her poet/musician son’s courageous battles against obsessive-compulsive disorder, Barbara writes hopeful stories about troubled families with a healthy dose of mental illness. Her debut novel, The Unfinished Garden, won the 2013 Golden Quill Contest for Best First Book, and The In-Between Hour was chosen by SIBA (the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) as a Winter 2014 Okra Pick.

For more information, or to connect with Barbara, please visit

Product details

  • File Size: 3752 KB
  • Print Length: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (July 1, 2015)
  • Publication Date: July 1, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00QJ1V5XK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,682 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3,004 customer reviews

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