Perfect

( 17 )

Overview

A spellbinding novel that will resonate with readers of Mark Haddon, Louise Erdrich, and John Irving, Perfect tells the story of a young boy who is thrown into the murky, difficult realities of the adult world with far-reaching consequences.

Byron Hemmings wakes to a morning that looks like any other: his school uniform draped over his wooden desk chair, his sister arguing over the breakfast cereal, the click of his mother’s heels as she crosses the kitchen. But when the three ...

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Perfect: A Novel

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Overview

A spellbinding novel that will resonate with readers of Mark Haddon, Louise Erdrich, and John Irving, Perfect tells the story of a young boy who is thrown into the murky, difficult realities of the adult world with far-reaching consequences.

Byron Hemmings wakes to a morning that looks like any other: his school uniform draped over his wooden desk chair, his sister arguing over the breakfast cereal, the click of his mother’s heels as she crosses the kitchen. But when the three of them leave home, driving into a dense summer fog, the morning takes an unmistakable turn. In one terrible moment, something happens, something completely unexpected and at odds with life as Byron understands it. While his mother seems not to have noticed, eleven-year-old Byron understands that from now on nothing can be the same.
 
What happened and who is to blame? Over the days and weeks that follow, Byron’s perfect world is shattered. Unable to trust his parents, he confides in his best friend, James, and together they concoct a plan. . . .
 
As she did in her debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce has imagined bewitching characters who find their ordinary lives unexpectedly thrown into chaos, who learn that there are times when children must become parents to their parents, and who discover that in confronting the hard truths about their pasts, they will forge unexpected relationships that have profound and surprising impacts. Brimming with love, forgiveness, and redemption, Perfect will cement Rachel Joyce’s reputation as one of fiction’s brightest talents.

Praise for Perfect
 
“Touching, eccentric . . . Joyce does an inviting job of setting up these mysterious circumstances, and of drawing Byron’s magical closeness with Diana.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Tiimes
 
“Haunting . . . compelling.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
 
“[Joyce] triumphantly returns with Perfect. . . . As Joyce probes the souls of Diana, Byron and Jim, she reveals—slowly and deliberately, as if peeling back a delicate onion skin—the connection between the two stories, creating a poignant, searching tale.”O: The Oprah Magazine
 
Perfect touches on class, mental illness, and the ways a psyche is formed or broken. It has the tenor of a horror film, and yet at the end, in some kind of contortionist trick, the narrative unfolds into an unexpected burst of redemption. [Verdict:] Buy It.”New York
 
“Joyce’s dark, quiet follow-up to her successful debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, could easily become a book club favorite. . . . Perfect is the kind of book that blossoms under thoughtful examination, its slow tendencies redeemed by moments of loveliness and insight. However sad, Joyce’s messages—about the limitations of time and control, the failures of adults and the fears of children, and our responsibility for our own imprisonment and freedom—have a gentle ring of truth to them.”The Washington Post
 
“There is a poignancy to Joyce’s narrative that makes for her most memorable writing.”—NPR’s All Things Considered

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/16/2013
An 11-year-old boy makes an error that brings tragedy to several lives, including his own, in Joyce’s intriguing and suspenseful novel. One summer day in a small English village in 1972, Byron Hemmings’s mother, Diana, is driving him and his younger sister to school when their Jaguar hits a little girl on a red bicycle. Diana drives on, unaware, with only Byron having seen the accident. Byron doesn’t know whether or not the girl was killed, however, and concocts a plan called “Operation Perfect” to shield his mother from what happened. Previously, she has always presented the picture of domestic perfection in trying to please her martinet banker husband, Seymour, and overcome her lower-class origins. After Byron decides to tell her the truth about the accident, she feverishly attempts to make amends by befriending the injured girl’s mother, but her “perfect” facade begins to splinter. Joyce sometimes strains credibility in describing Diana’s psychological deterioration, but the novel’s fast pacing keeps things tense. Meanwhile, in alternate chapters, Jim, a psychologically fragile man in his 50s, endures a menial cafe job. Joyce, showing the same talent for adroit plot development seen in the bestselling The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, brings both narrative strands together in a shocking, redemptive (albeit weepily sentimental) denouement. The novel is already a bestseller in England. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“Touching, eccentric . . . Joyce does an inviting job of setting up these mysterious circumstances, and of drawing Byron’s magical closeness with Diana.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Tiimes
 
“Haunting . . . compelling.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
 
“[Joyce] triumphantly returns with Perfect. . . . As Joyce probes the souls of Diana, Byron and Jim, she reveals—slowly and deliberately, as if peeling back a delicate onion skin—the connection between the two stories, creating a poignant, searching tale.”O: The Oprah Magazine
 
Perfect touches on class, mental illness, and the ways a psyche is formed or broken. It has the tenor of a horror film, and yet at the end, in some kind of contortionist trick, the narrative unfolds into an unexpected burst of redemption. [Verdict:] Buy It.”New York
 
“Joyce’s dark, quiet follow-up to her successful debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, could easily become a book club favorite. . . . Perfect is the kind of book that blossoms under thoughtful examination, its slow tendencies redeemed by moments of loveliness and insight. However sad, Joyce’s messages—about the limitations of time and control, the failures of adults and the fears of children, and our responsibility for our own imprisonment and freedom—have a gentle ring of truth to them.”The Washington Post
 
“There is a poignancy to Joyce’s narrative that makes for her most memorable writing.”—NPR’s All Things Considered
 
“Beautifully written . . . Joyce showed an incredible sensitivity and understanding when she wrote about the impact of mental illness in Harold Fry, and that talent shines even brighter now that she’s devoting more space to the subject. . . . Joyce is great at building tension, with her prose managing to give huge weight to a menacing comment or a small mistake.”The A.V. Club

Perfect is a poignant and powerful book, rich with empathy and charged with beautiful, atmospheric writing.”—Tana French,  author of In the Woods and Broken Harbor
 
“[Rachel] Joyce, showing the same talent for adroit plot development seen in the bestselling The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, brings both narrative strands together in a shocking, redemptive denouement.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“[Perfect’s] unputdownable factor . . . lies in its exploration of so many multilayered emotions. There is the unbreakable bond between mother and son, the fear of not belonging . . . and how love can offer redemption.”—London Evening Standard

Library Journal
After an award-winning career as an actor and playwright, Joyce turned her hand to fiction and came up with last year's international best seller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Here, she's replaced enterprising retiree Harold Fry with equally enterprising 11-year-old Byron Hemmings, who's dismayed when his mother seems totally oblivious to a terrible event that happens while she's driving him and his sister through thick fog on the way to school. With good buddy James, the suddenly distrustful Byron hatches a plan to discover the truth.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-05
The time is out of joint, as the follow-up to a popular novelistic debut brings a slightly darker edge to its fablelike whimsy. Having earned a best-selling readership in both the U.S. and her native Britain with The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (2012), Joyce returns with an even less likely but more ambitious piece of fictional fancy. The protagonist is 11-year-old Byron, a reflective and innocent schoolboy who becomes overly concerned when his best friend, James, tells him that two seconds will be added to this leap year to somehow even things out. After his mother assures him that "[w]hen it happens you won't notice. Two seconds are nothing," Byron responds, "That's what nobody realizes. Two seconds are huge. It's the difference between something happening and something not happening." And with the addition of those two seconds--or not--something happens--or not. And whether or not something happens, everything changes. A veteran of the stage and a radio playwright before turning to fiction, Joyce specializes in the sort of insights that some find charming, others cloying and a style that could sometimes pass for fairy tale, other times for Young Adult (though those readers wouldn't have much patience for her plotting). The novel alternates between chapters that follow what happens to Byron, his mother and their family (which the reader quickly realizes is more dysfunctional than Byron does) and ones that concern an adult sufferer of obsessive-compulsive disorder who resorts to menial labor when the British mental health system fails him. "No one knows how to be normal, Jim," a social worker tells him. "We're all just trying to do our best." The two plot lines must inevitably intersect, but the manner in which they do will likely surprise even the most intuitive reader. Many of those who loved the author's first novel should at least like her second.
The Barnes & Noble Review

If you have a child in your life or haven't forgotten what it's like to be one, you know the kaleidoscopic way kids make sense of the world. It's all shards and shapes and sudden colors, and the details don't always add up. That's what we see through the eyes of Byron Hemmings, the eleven-year-old boy at the center of Perfect, Rachel Joyce's dark and disquieting second novel.

We enter the story in the spring of 1972. Byron lives in a country house at the edge of an English moor with his little sister, Lucy, and their beautiful mother, Diana. Their father, Seymour, spends the weekdays in London, where he works in the financial district. He's stern and controlling, and his weekend visits to Diana and the children are tense affairs. They're something to be endured until Sunday night, when Seymour leaves and life returns to normal.

For Byron, normal life isn't all that great. He's an introvert, overweight, and, when we meet him, overwrought. He's worked himself into a state over the decision to add two "leap seconds" to time in order to sync up the world's clocks. Byron's best friend, James, had tossed off this bit of information as a fun fact, something to talk about during the dull school day. Diana is equally blasé. But to Byron, mucking around with time puts the workings of very universe at risk.

"Two seconds are huge," Byron tells Diana when she tries to soothe him. "It's the difference between something happening and something not happening. You could take one step too many and fall over the edge of a cliff. It's very dangerous."

Sure enough, something happens. Diana is driving the children to school when a thick fog sweeps down off the moors. It obliterates the road, stops traffic, and puts the children in danger of being tardy. On an impulse Diana takes a detour through the unfamiliar territory of the local public housing development. It's a lower-class area that Seymour, ever a guardian of his family's moneyed status, has declared off- limits. Byron looks at his watch and the second hand stutters backwards. In his frenzy to warn Diana that the perilous two extra seconds have just now appeared, he distracts her and there is an accident.

As Byron starts his struggle to contain the fallout from the fateful detour, Joyce weaves in a second story. Here we meet Jim, a man in his early fifties, living in the present day. It's set in the same bit of English countryside but transformed by the recent addition of a cookie-cutter housing development.

Jim is deeply damaged, most visibly by a severe obsessive- compulsive disorder. To deal with the torment, Jim has shrunk his life down to two barely manageable worlds. There's his home, a ramshackle van parked at the edge of the moor, where he performs an endless series of intricate rituals. And there's his job as a busboy at a supermarket café. There, a fellow employee, the free-spirited Eileen, doggedly pursues Jim despite his growing distress.

Joyce's debut novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, was published in 2012, but she's no newcomer to storytelling. An actress who became an award-winning writer of radio plays for BBC Radio 4, Joyce received strong reviews for her first novel, which earned a spot on the long list for the 2012 Man Booker Prize.

In Perfect, as in her first book, Joyce explores mental illness, gender roles, and social class. The lovely Diana has a mysterious, perhaps even unsavory past, and Sydney makes sure there is no trace of it. While the other women in town move into the 1970s in tank tops and peasant skirts, Diana is required to cling to the markers of a vanishing era:

Byron's father preferred his wife to dress more formally. With her slim skirts and pointy heels, her matching handbag and her notebook, Diana made the other women look both oversized and underprepared.
Though here, too, Joyce's characters carry soul-searing secrets, the compensating sugary whimsy of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is gone. In its place Joyce has constructed a world of merciless cause-and-effect. And though Perfect is told through the close-focus view of two unreliable narrators, a crucial revelation in the end turns the story on its head even as it sews it together.

"[F]or one person to help another, for one small act of kindness to succeed, a lot must go well, a myriad of things must fall into place," Jim thinks near the end of the book, finally finding light at the end of his ordeal.

And the author's own act of kindness at the end of the book leaves the kaleidoscope transformed from broken vision to a hard-won kind of grace.

Veronique de Turenne is a Los Angeles–based journalist, essayist, and playwright. Her literary criticism appears on NPR and in major American newspapers. One of the highlights of her career was interviewing Vin Scully in his broadcast booth at Dodger Stadium, then receiving a handwritten thank-you note from him a few days later.

Reviewer: Veronique de Turenne

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410467331
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 2/5/2014
  • Edition description: Large Prin
  • Sales rank: 800,233
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Reading Group Guide

1. The attempt to achieve perfection is central to both Diana’s and Byron’s behavior. Has the novel changed your perception of what it may mean to be ‘perfect’?

2. Rachel Joyce portrays time as a slippery and unpredictable concept. Has this affected your attitude towards the ways in which we measure the paths of our lives?

3. Responsibility is a theme that plays a key part in the novel. Who do you believe holds the greatest responsibility for the accident?

4. Is Jim’s mental illness the inevitable result of the events of his childhood?

5. Diana says, ‘I’m beginning to think chaos is underrated.’ Do you agree?

6. Byron identifies the moment at which he no longer considers himself to be a child. How does the novel question traditional definitions of childhood and parenthood?

7. Rachel Joyce writes beautiful descriptions of Cranham Moor and the English landscape. What is the significance of the natural world in the novel?

8. What is the significance of class in the relationship between Beverley and Diana?

9. Several characters struggle with depression and obsessive-compulsive behavior in the novel. How effectively do you feel mental disorders are portrayed?

10. Diana believes that the course of her life is determined by destiny. What part does spiritual belief play in the novel, and do you agree that our actions cannot influence our own fates?

11. Seymour and Andrea Lowe express strong views about feminism. How does Rachel Joyce represent the role of women in the novel?

12. How does Rachel Joyce represent the different time periods of the novel? Are there echoes from 1972 in the present or is it a world and time that has disappeared without trace?

13. Diana is lonely despite having a family and friends; Jim experiences intense loneliness. What do you think makes people feel connected to each other, and what creates fulfilling relationships?

14. Byron and James Lowe are best friends as boys, and the employees at Mr Meade’s café form bonds of kinship. How does Rachel Joyce represent friendship, and what do you think it means to be a true friend?

15. Who is the most powerful character in the novel, and why?

16. Eileen and Jim are damaged, in different ways, by their pasts. To what extent do you feel their private pain is transformed through the act of sharing?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Powerful, Dark

    Strangely unique, or brilliantly twisted drama that slowly unfolds, crumb by crumb to leave me speechless, Perfect by Rachel Joyce doesn’t fit neatly into a prescribed genre and I love authors who color outside the lines with bold strokes! Scientists have decided that there must be two seconds added to time, no big deal, right? But for young Byron, those two seconds were enough time to have his life slowly implode around him, mentally overpowering his sense of well-being and ease. But were these two seconds the cause or merely the straws that finally broke the camel’s back? Were there events in Byron’s life that could have been avoided if those two seconds never existed? They have become his obsession, and festering thought that leaves holes in the fabric of the ma he was to become. Could anyone see this coming or was he adrift in a world that had its own problems, from his nervous and medicated mother to his absent and cold father? The only person Byron could count on for wisdom was his best friend, James, another child, better adjusted, more daring and fascinated by life’s twists, unlike Byron, who saw darkness in everything.

    Dark and edgy, Perfect takes the reader spiraling down the path that is Byron’s life, one step at a time, as seen through his eyes with his limited understanding. Imagine learning that people will deceive, they will take and take until there is nothing left, they will misunderstand, and you have nowhere to go for your safe haven, no rock to lean on in a world far beyond your understanding.

    Rachel Joyce draws the reader in with each word, each scene, each event, making no apologies for holding you captive in an uncomfortable situation. Well written, well-paced, dramatic reading!

    I received an ARC edition in exchange for my honest review from Random House Publishing Group - Random House

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    1970's England. Fancy jaguars parked in the garages of upperclas

    1970's England. Fancy jaguars parked in the garages of upperclass suburban homes. Mothers in dainty white gloves wiping the sugar off their children's mouths. Fathers returning on the weekends with their briefcases in one hand, while expecting a shot of scotch from the bottle in the cabinet, in the other. This is the scene in which the primary portion of Perfect is set.

    Upon witnessing a terrible lapse of time and in awareness, Byron Hemmings is caught in between the worlds of childhood and adulthood, as he is reluctantly forced to make a choice: reveal this secret about his precious, faultless mother, Diana, or keep quiet in his own mind forever. When his genius friend, James, excitedly concocts a plan to fix this intangible error, Operation Perfect is born; as the judgment of two adolescent boys goes, the procedure will either go according to plan, just as imagined in their hands... or it will end it utter disaster.

    Byron's balmy, yet increasingly paranoiac summer days, are interspersed with Jim's portion of the story, set in a bitter present-day winter. Jim is a middle-aged obsessive-compulsive, who lives in a van, who works as a busboy, and whose condition worsens when reminiscing about his past and his haunting experience at Besley Hill, the sanitarium he was shoved into as a teenager.

    The two seemingly unrelated narratives catch up to each other in a collision of time; they swerve together and explode into one another in a fateful, alarming twist that will leave readers breathless. For the majority of the novel, however, the prose is—however flowery and fanciful—languidly, almost sluggishly, set. I found Joyce's writing enjoyable, but very thick and puzzling, especially in the first half. Almost Ian McEwan-esque, her prose isn't particularly difficult to get through, but at times it was just thoroughly boring, which is why it took me a while to finish.

    In characterization, in plot, and in tone, however, Perfect is a masterpiece. Each of the characters, even the ones that only make small appearances, are so vivid and intimately portrayed. Readers will cherish the characters they are meant to like, and loathe the ones they are meant to dislike. The eerily calm but inherently alarming mood sets up a domestically freakish story; while plain and placid in technique and style, the undertones of Perfect not only illuminate upon values of mistakes, redemption, and the human condition, but also bewilder, perplex. This is definitely a book that makes you think hard.

    Pros: Substantial, exquisite writing // Contains one of the most elegantly executed, shocking plot twists ever // Deeply meaningful // The way Byron's mind runs in fascinating // All the characters are fabulously depicted; I fell in love with the protagonists and hated the antagonists deeply

    Cons: Very confusing at first // Moves extremely slowly, even in the end // I liked the prose but it was a little sludgy

    Verdict: The injustices of adulthood and the restrictive bindings of upperclass society are brought to light in Rachel Joyce's newest British novel. Byron Hemmings's brilliantly fleshed, intimately portrayed character will make you think twice about the role of children, the responsibility of—or vindication from—accidents, and the faults of trust—the faults of humanity. One young boy's naïveté and misplaced guilt, as well as his mother's faultless crime, ignite this slow deterioration of an outwardly immaculate, perfect household. With grand allusions to the philosophy of time and the significance of deep thinking, Perfect questions the disastrous consequences of our every choice.

    Rating: 8 out of 10 hearts (4 stars): An engaging read that will be worth your while; highly recommended.

    Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via tour publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Random House and TLC!).

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The novel is told in two alternating voices, one is young Byron

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    Anonymous

    Amazing! I enjoyed Harold Fry enormously....this was better, I think. And think I will...it will be a long time before Perfect leaves my thoughts!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2014

    Caroline to kevin

    Im here if you want to talk. i am not going to force you... but i hope you know that i only came back because of how much i love you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 25, 2014

    Did not like it

    My Book Club read this book. Half thought it was OK, the other half did not like it. I was in the group that did not like it. I never got the connection of the two story lines until the end, and at that, it left me cold. Most of the people in the story were really screwed up. I just never related to the characters or the story line.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    Disappointed

    I so enjoyed R. Joyce's first book and was excited to read her new one. While the story started out pleasant enough, it became dark and disturbing, so much so I had to skim the last one hundred or so pages. Don't waste your money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Well written and insightul. Thought provoking!

    A great read that will make you stop and think.

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    It would be hard to think of a better name for this book, for Ra

    It would be hard to think of a better name for this book, for Rachel Joyce's Perfect was, in fact, practically perfect. It was a beautifully written, evocative exploration of the power of magical thinking, the nature of friendship, and the unanticipated consequences of mistakes.

    The story is told in alternating chapters occurring in 1972 and today. I can't say much more without revealing a significant plot twist; suffice it to say that this structure successfully kept the tension at a steady boil until the very end. In this respect, Perfect should appeal to readers who enjoyed Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, even though the subject matter of the two books is very different.

    I loved the "hook" of the added two seconds. The prologue immediately captured my attention and drew me into the lives of Byron, Diana, and James. Those considering this book will, therefore, be able to tell immediately from the sample on Amazon or Barnes & Noble whether they will enjoy it.

    Joyce was able to capture key aspects of each character's personality in concise visual images. Had she written only the following two lines about Byron's father, I would have known all I needed to know:

    "He nodded the way his father did when he was stating a fact, as if he was so correct even his own head had to agree."

    "If Byron ever tried to hug him, and sometimes he wished he could, the embrace ran away at the last minute and became a handshake."

    Can't you just see that embrace running away? Here is Byron during a conversation with James:

    "Every time he began a sentence he was afraid the wrong words would escape from his mouth. Consequently he had to keep examining them on their way out, as if he was checking their hands for cleanliness. It was exhausting."

    From these three short sentences, I learned a great deal about Byron's self-esteem, his relationship with his best friend James, and the "perfect" life led in Cranham House.

    I did not realize before I began reading Perfect that it was written by the same author who wrote The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I will certainly be seeking out that book in the near future.

    I received a free copy of Perfect through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Surprising

    Great read! A little slow in spots, but totally worth pushing through. The end was the perfect twist. Maybe not a book for everyone, but for those of us who love a surprise ending, great. Stayed with me for days.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    Wasr Waste of r Waste of tome Waste od Waste of time

    Sorry book dont buy

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    Absorbing!

    This was a very interesting & well thought out plot involving 2 boys & the concept

    of time & how it may affect the outcome of certain events which take place.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Perfect certainly made an impact right from the start. It's been

    Perfect certainly made an impact right from the start. It's been a while since the beginning of a novel has so fiercely grabbed my attention.

    I felt fully invested in these characters, most notably Jim and Byron's mother. I was taken aback by the Hemmings' entire world, the way the people in their social circle behaved. And I have to say, getting to know Byron's mother through his eyes was sometimes downright painful.

    Something that really struck me was how the title, that word perfect, carried different meanings at various points throughout the novel. Whether it was the stress of trying to be (or at least appear) perfect, or learning that what seems perfect oftentimes isn't, Joyce pulls back layer after layer behind the depth of this single word.

    There are two stories running parallel, but I had no idea exactly where things were headed or how everything would play out. I didn't expect the ending at all and when the two stories met, I was overwhelmed by the profundity.

    Joyce's writing drew me in; it felt good to read her words. The story flowed naturally and I had trouble putting the book down. I can't wait to read more of her work.

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

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    Posted February 8, 2014

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    Posted January 24, 2014

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    Posted January 17, 2014

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