Pocket, May 2002, 25.00, 368 pp.
Nina, Caleb and Nathaniel Frost are the typical happy American family. Nina is an assistant district attorney in York County, Maine. Caleb is a stone worker, happy to let Nina be the main breadwinner in the family. Nathaniel is the poster boy of a contented five-year-old at least he is until the day he stops talking and nobody understands why.
A physical exam shows that the little boy has been sexually abused. At first, using sign language and hand motions, Nathaniel names his father as the culprit, but later it becomes clear that Nathaniel meant Father as in their parish priest. The cleric is arrested but Nina, not allowing Nathaniel to testify in court, takes justice into her own hands and puts further strain on the Frost family.
PERFECT MATCH is a chilling tale focusing in on one of humanity's worst crimes, sexual abuse against children, and how different people deal with the after effects. Jodi Picoult demonstrates how deep a mother's love can go and how far she will go to prevent her child from further harm. There are no easy answers to the issues this book raises but then there shouldn't be.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner