At the age of eight Emma Jean takes Perfect into the woods and abruptly change Perfect from female to male(Perfect to Paul). She hacks her beautiful hair into a short cut, forces her to believe he’s a boy and must learn to act like one. She also tells Paul that he will be ok. Paul’s dad Gus is having trouble with this new information and in dealing with Paul. His mind is plagued with memories of Perfect his little girl, how does he transition his mind? How can he love a son who was once his little girl? Gus decides to let his son Authorly teach Perfect how to be a man. All six of her brothers try to help each one using their own talent and experience coupled with love of family. But its one brother that teaches Paul a lesson Jesus would be proud of.
As the family tries to heal after learning what Emma Jean has done the deception proves to be pretty strong for this family and no one can understand Emma Jeans reasoning. It’s not until the face of tragedy hits that moves this family towards healing and survival. Perfect Peace forces the reader to re-think what you feel you know about personal desires, identity, gender, and sexual orientation. Mr. Black did an excellent job of appropriating the language of our people during this time. Also if imagined how a child would handle an identity crisis that borders homosexuality amongst people who were not educated enough to have grace or mercy.
It is the opinion of this reviewer that Perfect Peace is a work of literary genius. No matter who you are we are all “perfect” in His eyes and should be allowed to live in “peace”. Next up “The Sacred Place” by the same author my library would be incomplete without The Sacred Place and “They tell me of a Home”.