Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Perfect by Rachel Joyce

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.

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?

 The novel is told in two alternating voices, one is young Byron and the other is an older man named Jim (this is also 40 years later). Byron seems completely perplexed on how to protect his mother from what she has done. The poor boy is consumed by it. His father, is only home on the weekends and seems to have very little to do with his children and is only interested in people being impressed by how well he takes care of his wife. For the most part, I really did not like his dad, but later during a father/son discussion I understood him a bit more and felt some sympathy for him. With his father being who he is, Byron is essentially on his own to take care of his mother and his younger sister, Lucy. His best friend, James seems to 'help' from a distance--but they are so far over their heads. Things go from bad to worse when Beverly begins showing up in the story. Her character brings out a different part of Byron's mother, Diana. Diana begins to unravel and Byron is left alone to try and put everything right.

The story of Jim is an odd addition. I wasn't sure of his connection to the story. Jim is an older man who had been in and out of a psychiatric hospital where he received years of electroshock therapy. His memory is full of holes, he lives in a van and is compulsively performing rituals. As I read along, I was sure the stories would merge, but I was never really sure how. The further into the novel the more I wanted for Jim, I wanted a happily ever after.

As I first began reading, I just wasn't sure what to think of it. The novel is very well written and has such a wonderful flow you don't realize just how deep into the story you've read. I felt frustrated that there were no adults to help Byron out, he is so alone. I wanted his mother and father to snap out of their own little worlds and realize these kids needed them. I was sad for Byron, sad for Jim. The entire cast of characters are flawed and yet I wanted only the best for them. I found PERFECT to be a sad, but somehow beautiful story. Everything comes to light in the end and there is more I want to say, but it would only spoil the story and I can't have that. Pick up a copy of PERFECT, you won't be sorry!

Follow Rachel Joyce:

Rachel Joyce’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, December 16th:  Great Imaginations
Tuesday, December 17th:  She Treads Softly
Wednesday, December 18th:  A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Thursday, December 19th:  Lit and Life
Friday, December 20th:  BookNAround
Monday, December 23rd:  Bibliotica
Monday, December 23rd:  Books Speak Volumes
Thursday, December 26th:  The Feminist Texican [Reads]
Friday, December 27th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, December 30th:  Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, January 2nd:  50 Books Project
Friday, January 3rd:  Not in Jersey
Monday, January 6th:  The Blog of Litwits
Monday, January 6th:  Books and Movies
Tuesday, January 7th:  The Scarlet Letter
Wednesday, January 8th:  Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Thursday, January 9th:  A Bookish Affair
Friday, January 10th:  Peppermint Ph.D.
Monday, January 13th:  Books a la Mode
Tuesday, January 14th:  Caribousmom
Wednesday, January 15th:  A Novel Review
Thursday, January 16th:  From the TBR Pile
Friday, January 17th:  Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Monday, January 20th:  Bibliophiliac
Tuesday, January 21st:  5  Minutes for Books
Wednesday, January 22nd:  No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, January 23rd:  A Bookworm’s World
Friday, January 24th:  My Bookshelf
Monday, January 27th:  The Daily Mayo
Tuesday, January 28th:  Cold Read

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