Review of The Perfect Man: Booklist

        Rajiv Travers is the boy nobody wanted. Born to an Indian woman and a globetrotting English father, he is abandoned to the care of first one uncle and then another, finally landing in the unlikely town of Pisgah, Missouri, on the day uncle number two commits suicide. Cast adrift with his uncle's mistress, Ruth, a frustrated writer of bodice-ripper romances who never wanted children of her own, Rajiv fends for himself among Pisgah's children, falling in with the serious but sprightly Annie and her closest friend, the tragically afflicted Lewis. An unlikely microcosm of cultures, Pisgah teems with Irish, Italian, German, Polish, and Russian emigrants, yet a dark-skinned, half-Indian boy is a strange anomaly in this quintessential mid-1950s American town, which, for all its idyllic virtues, is a hotbed of racism, incest, adultery, and murder. Delineating a balanced chiaroscuro between the substantive themes of truth versus secrecy, loyalty versus betrayal, and, of course, good versus evil, Murr's vivid coming-of-age novel is a sumptuous tapestry teeming with hauntingly indelible characters.

Carol Haggas ~ Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved