Thursday, 14 November 2013

Book Review: Perfect

Author: Rachel Joyce
Publication: Nov. 5, 2013, Doubleday Canada


In 1972, two seconds were added to time. It was in order to balance clock time with the movement of the earth. Byron Hemming knows this because James Lowe has told him, and James is the cleverest boy at school. But how can time change? The steady movement of hands around a clock is 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?


Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Rachel Joyce's writing is absolutely beautiful- art with words.

Byron's story is sad: his anxiety, his mother's loss of control, his lack of a guiding hand, his need for order and answers. While the plot is slow-moving and not all that gripping, it is Joyce's writing that kept me reading. It was my desire-- as a mother and as a human being-- to scoop Byron into my arms, hold him close and tell him that it will all be alright, that not everything has to be perfect and understood and predictable. I wanted him to know that it's okay to be flawed and afraid.

I enjoyed this book, but I definitely felt a wave of relief wash over me when it was all over. It is emotional and uncomfortable. It makes you hold your breath just a little, without ever being aware of it.

If you're looking for great writing, some thought, and a book with emotional pulls- this one is for you. If you're looking for a light, uplifting read, come back to this one when you're ready.

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