Thursday, January 16, 2014

Perfect by Rachel Joyce

Author: Rachel Joyce
Publisher: Random House
Date of publication: January 2014

On a foggy spring morning in 1972, twelve-year-old Byron Hemming and his mother are driving to school in the English countryside. On the way, in a life-changing two seconds, an accident occurs. Or does it? Byron is sure it happened, but his mother, sitting right next to him in the car, has no reaction to it. Over the course of the days and weeks that follow, Byron embarks on a journey to discover what really happened-or didn't-that fateful morning when everything changed. It is a journey that will take him-a loveable and cloistered twelve-year-old boy with a loveable and cloistered twelve-year-old boy's perspective on life-into the murkier, more difficult realities of the adult world, where adults lie, fathers and mothers fight without words, and even unwilling boys must become men. 

Perfect is the second really heavy book that I have read so far this year.   I really had to sit on this one for a bit before writing this review.  I often gauge how much I liked a book by how I felt at the end. When I read the last page of this book, I really felt kind of down with a smidgen of hope. I think I can ultimately say that I liked the story.  It was well written and very compelling.   Just don't go into this book expecting a light fun read. 

For me, the book is a commentary on how one's perceptions of events can change the course of multiple lives.  Especially when those events are viewed through the innocence of childhood.  Although, after reading the book, I have to wonder if some of the things wouldn't have happened on their own anyway given how unhappy most of the adult characters seemed to be.

The story alternates between Byron's story in 1972 and Jim's story now.  It took a while before it was clear how the two stories fit together.  While it ties together nicely in the end, I found the waffling between the past and present to be kind of disjointed for me and kept throwing me off the rhythm of the story.  I can also say that I was convince that story was going to go one way, but it ended up going in a completely different direction. That was a nice surprise.

About the author:
Rachel Joyce is the author of the international bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. She is also the award-winning writer of more than twenty plays for BBC Radio 4. She started writing after a twenty-year acting career, in which she performed leading roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company and won multiple awards. Rachel Joyce lives with her family on a Gloucestershire farm.
Connect with Rachel on her website,, or on Facebook.

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
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
Tuesday, January 14th:  Caribousmom
Wednesday, January 15th:  A Novel Review
Thursday, January 16th:  From the TBR Pile
Monday, January 20th:  Bibliophiliac
Tuesday, January 21st:  5  Minutes for Books
Tuesday, January 21st:  Books a la Mode
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
Wednesday, January 29th:  Not in Jersey

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!