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Perfect by Rachel Joyce


by Rachel Joyce

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Rachel Joyce has been on my radar for a while now. I remember the first time I saw the cover of her first book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - I was completely smitten with it. In fact, I fell in love with it so much that I have yet to pick up the book for fear that it won't live up to the cover. But then, I picked up Perfect, excited to see it offered by NetGalley, and I was immediately sucked into the story. The premise: two boys in 1972 and a problem with time, appealed to me and I couldn't wait to find out what exactly the big mystery was.story of the story as well as the modern day problems of Jim. I sympathized with the boys and wondered just when the mystery surrounding James would be completely revealed. I was, frankly, obsessed. I stayed up late to find out just what would happen and I will say that it was totally worth the reveal.

Read the rest of this review at The Lost Entwife on April 16, 2014. ( )
  TheLostEntwife | Apr 13, 2014 |
This book has two timelines, the first of which is in 1972, when two seconds were added to time. Those two seconds proved disastrous for Byron Hemmings when he believes that they are the reason an accident which caused his mother to have a breakdown. Byron and his friend James start a campaign called Operation Perfect, to rescue Byron’s mother from her downward spiral.

The second timeline is set in the present day, and concentrates on Jim, a man in his 50s, who suffers with chronic OCD, and is haunted by the events of his past.

I enjoyed the book for the most part – the writing was lovely and the story flowed well. The characters were believable, and Byron’s helplessness as he watches his mother sink into depression, which is not helped by the manipulative character of her new friend Beverly. This storyline was probably the more interesting of the two, as there was more happening. However, the character of Jim in the present day storyline, was well drawn – his crippling and debilitating OCD was wonderfully described, and it was impossible not to feel sorry for him, and to hope that things would get better for him.

However, I did find the ending, where the connection between the two story lines – hinted at many times earlier in the story, but not fully explained – was a slight disappointment, and the slight twist was not really necessary.

So overall, I would say that Perfect is not perfect, but it’s an enjoyable and absorbing read. ( )
  Ruth72 | Apr 12, 2014 |
Rachel Joyce's sophomore novel is as great as her debut. Perfect is not perfect, but it sucked me in and I was completely committed to the characters. Set in two parallel story lines, we follow the lives of young Byron and James in the year 1972, and 50-year-old Jim in the present time. These are tragic stories with commentaries on status, wealth, mental illness, just to name a few. The story was slow to start and plodded along for a while. But I was rewarded in the end. I grieved and celebrated at the same time. ( )
  ravensfan | Apr 4, 2014 |
Not as good as Harold Fry, but an interesting story. Felt it needed a bit of polishing in places to pull strands together a bit more. Too many themes felt unexplored or explored in the wrong way eg Byron's friendship with James focussed on the mundane, and did not reflect the importance it subsequently had. Byron's parents were key characters but their role in the story did not reflect this. ( )
  rlangston | Mar 26, 2014 |
So different from her previous book. Excellent but sad. A wonderful description of mental illness.
  shazjhb | Mar 11, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812993306, Hardcover)

In 1972, two seconds were added to time. It was in order to balance clock time with the movement of the earth. Byron Hemming knew this because James Lowe had told him and James was the cleverest boy at school. But how could time change? The steady movement of hands around a clock was as certain as their golden futures. Then Byron's mother, late for the school run, makes a devastating mistake. Byron's perfect world is shattered. Were those two extra seconds to blame? Can what follows ever be set right?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:16:41 -0400)

In the aftermath of a life-shattering accident in the English countryside in 1972, twelve-year-old Byron Hemming struggles with events that his mother does not seem to remember and embarks on a journey to discover what really did or did not happen.

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