As the book begins, the reader is immediately cast into Violet Brown's story. Violet's father, Eugene, an optician who truly loves eyes and married her Mam because "she had the biggest eyes he'd ever seen", has just accepted an incredible sounding job. Unfortunately, as far as 10-year-old Violet is concerned, his new job means that her family must move to a new location. Change is often difficult for children, and Violet is apprehensive about moving and going to a new school. To make matters even worse, her family will be moving to a place called Perfect. Violet does not want to move, especially to a place called Perfect.
"How could she ever live in a place called Perfect? It couldn't be perfect anyway, there had to be something wrong with it."
~ A Place Called Perfect, Helena Duggan
Although Violet loves her father deeply, she decides that she'll stop talking to her dad, her way of protesting the move.
The characters in A Place Called Perfect are very appealing, and make this story worthwhile. Violet is an engaging and believable child protagonist. She's determined to figure out what's going on in this "perfect" place. Violet senses that there's something a bit scary and odd and creepy about the spectacle makers, the Archers, that something is going on with them. Later in the story she meets a friend, Boy, who makes her experience in this too perfect place a lot more bearable, as friends often do.
Like Tracy from Pen and Paper, I was enchanted by this book from the very beginning until the very end. Both the front and back cover were created by Helena Duggan, who's a graphic designer as well as an author, and are fantastic and fit the book, well, perfectly. Content-wise, A Place Called Perfect is imaginative and clever; it's a charming book that I adored and would wholeheartedly recommend to children and adults. Much of the humor in this book has to do with eyes and seeing, and although the book's quite funny overall, there's a more serious side to this book as well. Readers of all ages will root for Violet as she discovers what's below the pristine appearance of Perfect. A Place Called Perfect is an astounding mix of adventure and mystery, with a generous dose of the macabre, which will captivate all. I look forward to reading more books by Helena Duggan.
As always, your comments are welcomed and appreciated.