After Perfect


Happy Father’s Day! Today, I have the pleasure of sharing some thoughts on one of my latest reads: After Perfect. I had the pleasure of hearing Christina McDowell read at Book Soup two Sundays ago, not long after which I managed to snag a copy of her debut onto L.A.’s literary scene. As JT grows, I plan to review at least one book a month for readers, starting now!

Christina’s book is an unfaltering confrontation of heartbreak and loss, driven by the need for what might seem two opposites: love and closure, as she battles with herself over where to place an irretrievable childhood.

The text describes this vividly, detailing the demise of Christina’s old self for a new one in her struggle to claim a true, albeit imperfect identity. I devoured the prose seamlessly over three days, at the end of which I found myself asking:

What can I keep, and what do I have to let go of in order to survive? How much of myself from childhood is real, and how much is just imagined? Moreover, at what point do I stop seeing a parent as a hero, but as an individual who is just as insecure and damaged as I am?

The very questions can take a lifetime to ask ourselves, but with this book, Christina accomplishes an undeniable starting point. Congratulations to McDowell on her first book, and JT looks forward to more soon!

Author: J.T.

I'm a writer, editor, and photographer with a passion for community development en Los Angeles. While my editing work covers a range of different subjects, my writing focuses primarily on social welfare in the city, including education at L.A.'s public middle and high schools, public transportation planning and efficacy, housing and small business policy, as well as voting turnout for local elections and policy. My photography is similarly city-based, focusing mostly on what makes Los Angeles home to so many working-class people from all across the U.S.A. and throughout the world. Enjoy.

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