IMMACULATE PERCEPTION is a witty novel that introduces readers to Lincoln, an offbeat but highly likable woman whose present life as a quirky introvert is shaped by her unusual, unsettling childhood.
We meet Lincoln just as her marriage is ending. She is embarking on therapy to figure out her part in the failure and where to go next with her life. Lincoln reflects on her past, including a violent incident when she was twelve, and systematically sets out to understand how the past has shaped her into the woman she is today. Lincoln’s husband, Ranger, narrates a few chapters, as do other main characters in her life, but most of what we learn about Lincoln is through her own voice. She’s extremely methodical, overly rational, and has a very dry sense of humor. It’s this voice that fills us in on her traumatic childhood, mostly spent on the run with her mother. Lincoln eventually makes peace with her past and her present, and makes a surprising and ultimately hopeful decision about her future.
The insight into Lincoln’s character is so complete that the reader is able to clearly discern how Lincoln’s final decision will impact her life. Lincoln is enormously likable. Her habit of re-naming everyone in her orbit (her stepson, who is the fourth to be given a family name, is known as “Phorth”) is laugh-out-loud funny, while also a good indicator of the methodical nature of her personality. The alternating narrators offer just enough insight for the reader to understand how others in Lincoln’s life view her.
One issue with the narration is that it’s too divided between present and Lincoln’s childhood: the reader spends so much uninterrupted time with young Rebel (as Lincoln was known then) that the thread of the present-day storyline is lost during that stretch. And the actual timeline of Lincoln’s final decision is unclear, which is a disappointing way to end a book that is otherwise nearly flawless in its lack of mistakes.
Kik Phillips’ IMMACULATE PERCEPTION is a very funny, well-written book with an outstanding main character and visually beautiful layout.
~R.T. Beach for Indie Reader