#KentBookClub: Perfect People, by Peter James

Student Support Co-ordinator Rachel Small tells us about her #LockdownLiterature – the psychological thriller, Perfect People.

“I found Perfect People by Peter James an amazing thought provoking read. The psychological thrills are almost non-stop, in equal measure with the unrelenting emotional ups and downs, which make us question our own thoughts around the morality of genetic innovation; my morality pendulum shifted with each chapter!

What if you had the chance to free your unborn child from all genetic imperfections? Of course, we would all say ‘All I really want is for my child to be healthy, and it doesn’t matter about anything else’. But what if an array of other genetic options were also available to you, at no additional cost?

“Would you be able to turn down this chance and risk having your child grow up unpopular, or unable to realize his dream of working at the University of Kent, knowing you had your chance to change that? What do we define as ‘healthy and normal as possible’, do you remove only the genes for diabetes and cancer but what about, asthma and eczema? Perfect People bombards us with all these difficult questions.

“The book is centred around the lives of John and Naomi Klaesson, who get that opportunity to design their baby, following the death of their four year old son of a rare genetic disorder. I loved how James depicts the difficulty of John and Naomi’s dilemma. Naomi insists she just wants as normal a child as possible — if their child is genetically enhanced to have vastly superior intelligence or athletic prowess, will other children still want to play with them, or will they see them as a freak? John, a scientist, is afraid that if they turn down genetic enhancements and if ‘designer’ babies become the norm, then their future son will lose a valuable competitive advantage. James’ uses these questions to demonstrate the potent combination of parental ambition and desire to nurture.

“In Perfect People, it gives Peter James the science of genetic innovation very human faces.

“I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.”


Have you read this book before, or maybe Rachel has inspired you to pick it up? If so, we’d love to know your thoughts on the book in the comments.

And don’t forget to share any reviews of your #LockdownLiterature with spsmarketing as part of the #KentBookClub.

Happy reading!

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