Perfect by Rachel Joyce


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 crosse...

Details Perfect

Release DateJan 14th, 2014
PublisherRandom House
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Historical, Historical Fiction

Reviews Perfect

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    2.5 stars Byron Hemming's friend James informs him that two seconds are being added to the year. James knows all kinds of facts so Bryon becomes obsessed with the fact. It will mess everything up. You just can't mess with time. Two seconds are huge. 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. On the way to school that morning ...
  • Michael
    I was charmed and emotionally wrenched many times with this coming of age tale combined with that of a middle-aged man trying to evolve past his mental illness. So many passages shone with the special aura of truth. In other ways the plot elements felt a bit too “precious.”The story slowly connects the story of a ten-year old boy, Byron, trying to correct the unhappiness in his mother’s life in 1972 with that of Jim, a lonely middle-aged ma...
  • Kevin Ansbro
    Being a fan of Rachel Joyce's other work (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry & The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy), I had high hopes for this one.Unfortunately I was left feeling underwhelmed, which is a shame as the premise is a fascinating one: how life can turn on a sixpence within the blink of an eye; in this case within the space of two leap seconds, which were added to time in the year 1972.Perfect is incredibly sad, but it's also pondero...
  • Marvin
    Great literary dramas strive on understatement. From the first few pages of Rachel Joyce's nearly perfect Perfect, we know there will be tragedy. We know it will affect two children in traumatic ways. But the author leads us on oh so slowly, giving us bits and pieces as we need them. We are given a tantalizing premise at the first page. In 1972, James Lowe tells his best friend Byron Hemmings, that 2 seconds were added onto time to keep it in syn...
  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    Astonishing book, I'm in tears after literally just finishing it, this book punched me in the stomach and took emotions to another place. I have rarely cried reading a book, interestingly Rachel Joyce's first novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry did too.I won't repeat the book synopsis here but the book is magical, the writing is sublime. It is a book to please persist with, it can seem slow going in places but when all the pieces of the ...
  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestHave you ever picked up a book to find that it wasn't what you expected? PERFECT was that for me. It was really difficult to get into, but the beautiful writing and dual narrative were oddly compelling. More so when you start to see how the concept of "perfect" ties into the adult man, Jim, who is ruled by his OCD and the demons from his past, and Byron, the child of WASP-y parents whose live...
  • Mo
    I received an advance copy of this book through a GoodReads contest. My thanks to the author.I opened the book… read a few pages… closed the book. Opened the book… read a few pages… closed the book. You get the idea? I just couldn’t get into the story. It seemed to go and on, and I could see where the main part of the story was headed, and it seemed to be CRAWLING to get there. It was an awfully long way to go to get to the payoff at th...
  • Hanne
    I absolutely loved Rachel Joyce’s debut novel ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’, so I was excited to start her latest one. And as it often goes with books you’re really excited about: some of my hopes were satisfied, some a bit less. But that doesn’t change the fact that this is a really nice book that many people will enjoy reading.Two alternating stories are being told in this novel. The most interesting one takes place in 1972,...
  • Semjon
    Das Buch, das zwei Sterne brachte......aber auch nur mit großem Wohlwollen. Für diesen Roman sprach das zur Geschichte passende ruhige Erzähltempo und die Tatsache, dass ich es zum Ende durchgehalten habe. Aber ansonsten bleibt nicht viel Positives übrig. Frau Joyce hatte wohl die Idee, eine Geschichte zu schreiben, in der es darum geht, wie Begebenheiten und Entscheidungen zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt des Lebens Auswirkungen auf alles Folge...
  • Patrice Hoffman
    How many times have we convinced ourselves that we'd only missed a change so profound to our lives by a few second? Or that if only we'd been somewhere at a certain time could our luck have gone differently? This is the idea that cripples Byron Hemmings when he's sure that the 2 seconds added on to time have caused a chain reaction of events that forever change his life. Rachel Joyce's Perfect explores time and how it affects us all. Good or bad....
  • Barbara
    Eleven-year-old Byron Hemmings becomes anxious when his friend James tells him that two seconds are going to be added to the clock to compensate for the 1972 leap year. Fretting about this when his mother Diana is driving him to upscale Winston House school one morning, Byron is sure his watch has moved backward. He insists on showing Diana the watch, which causes her to swerve her Jaguar and hit a young girl on Digby Street - a neighborhood of w...
  • Margarita
    1.5 out of 5.There are two alternating parallel narratives in this novel that eventually intersect. Pacing is an issue. of the novel moves at a snail’s pace while the last is rushed. The conclusion, although satisfactory (in that it wraps up the storyline), is too tidy to be realistic.Character development is stiff – As a result, the unfolding of events don’t quite fit together. The literary devices used to move the story forward are gimm...
  • Carolyn
    This is the story of two young boys, a dysfunctional family and how a small event rippled out to affect lives over the next few decades.The two boys, Byron and James are intrigued by the announcement that time is going to be advanced by two seconds to account for the slight difference the Earth's rotation and the length of a year. Byron becomes obsessed with how this will affect his life and when his mother Diana has an accident at the time he be...
  • Ace
    My third Rachel Joyce novel, all of which are 5 star gorgeous reads ❤❤❤❤❤
  • Jill
    First, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a big thank you to Goodreads FirstReads and Random House for providing an advance copy of PERFECT in exchange for an honest review. I was thrilled to win this book since I loved Ms. Joyce's debut book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye.Rachel Joyce deserves applause for not going back to the well. PERFECT is an entirely different book, revealing the versatility of this author. And indeed, I expect it...
  • Ian Mond
    If I was a really shitty critic I’d begin this review by saying something pithy like:It’s the brave author who decides to call their book Perfect. Instead I’d rather show you why I loved this book so much:"‘I know what I’m doing Byron, I don’t need help’. Every word of Lucy’s sounded like a neat little attack on the air."There’s something just a little bit perfect about that turn of phrase. … a neat little attack on the air…...
  • Jane
    In 1972 two seconds were added to time, to bring the clock back into line with the movement of the earth. Now two seconds might not seem like very much at all, but they could be very important. Byron was eleven years old, and he knew that.“Two seconds are huge. It’s the difference between something happening and something not happening. It’s very dangerous.” He was right, of course. Two seconds can make all the difference; for better or f...
  • Tiffany
    This book was not what I expected at all. I requested a copy of this title from Net Galley, based on the literary praise the author received for her prior novel. I often enjoy British authors, as their tone and writing style is different that that of American writers. Overall, I found the book to be confusing, disjointed and overall depressing. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a variety of fiction and depressing doesn't automatically tank a book for m...
  • Michael
    Two boys, two seconds, two women, one incident and Byron's world slowly implodes. 1972 and Byron Hemming is a normal young lad to middle class parents and has a best friend named James Lowe who Byron thinks is the cleverest boy in school. Everything in Byron's world is going fine until James tells him about the announcement that 2 seconds were being added to time. This seemingly innocuous event would be the start of a gradual disintegration of hi...
    Byron and James were school friends in 1972 England who connected with their shared intelligence and sensitivity. Byron always looked up to James, and their peers hung on every word he'd say. James seemed a bit fragile and eccentric, as if he bore a weight with his added knowledge. When James told Byron that he'd read in a newspaper that two seconds would be added that year, Byron fretted about it. A lot can happen in two seconds. In Byron's mind...
  • Jools
    I was one of many fans of RJ's previous work The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. If you where not a fan of this book please do not be put off reading this book as it is totally different in many ways. For me I read this in 3 days, and each time I picked the book up I was transported straight away into this world I was reading on paper.The story follows two protagonists, Byron who is a 11 year old boy telling us of the events of one fateful sum...
  • Λίνα Θωμάρεη
    Τζέιμς, Μπάιρον, Τζιμ... συν 2 δευτερόλεπτα... Τι κοινό μπορούν να έχουν?2 άνθρωποι του χτες, 1 άνθρωπος του παρόν και 2 δευτερόλεπτα να πλανιούνται στον αέρα.Ντάιαν, Μπέβερλι και Τζίνι 3 άνθρωποι του χτες κρίκοι της ιστορίας.Δεν ενθουσιάστηκα τόσο πολ...
  • Ali
    I won’t be at all surprised if ‘Perfect’ isn’t the book that gets people talking this summer. Rachel Joyce’s first novel The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was hugely successful and popular last year – deservedly so, I loved it too. I was delighted therefore to receive this review copy of Rachel Joyce’s new novel and have been looking forward to it.This is certainly a novel to read with a lump in the throat – and a tear in the ...
  • Marianne
    “Sometimes it is easier, he thinks, to live out the mistakes we have made than to summon the energy and imagination to repair them”Perfect is the second novel by bestselling British author, Rachel Joyce. In the heat of the 1972 English summer, Byron Hemmings, an intense and thoughtful eleven-year-old boy, is worried. His best friend (and the smartest boy in school), James Lowe has told him two seconds are to be added to time. He understands i...
  • Nick Davies
    A slightly difficult one to form an overall impression of - unlike a number of disappointments in recent times where the set-up of the story was great but the denouement poor, this to me was the other way round. The first two hundred and fifty (or so) pages were frustratingly meandering with little to anchor together separate strands, but the ending did pull this novel up by its bootlaces. As with 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry', this boo...
  • Antoinette
    4.5 STARS.A day like any other till there is a divergence from the usual routine and something bad happens. From that moment, nothing will be the same. This is a book about the road taken and words spoken that change the course of one's life. The reader watches it unfold, wanting to shout "No, can't you see what's happening, can't you see the truth?" But , of course, we are bystanders and are at a loss to do anything. I actually had to close the ...
  • Angela
    I thoroughly enjoyed Rachel Joyce’s first novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold fry and eagerly awaited a second book by this talented author. Perfect is the title of this second offering and I have to say that I enjoyed it as much as the first.The story is set in two different time zones; the spring and summer of 1972 and the present, with the some of the characters featuring in both zones. As the story unfolds, it eventually becomes obviou...
  • Helene Jeppesen
    3.5/5 stars. This is one of those books where you kind of think you know where this is going, but in reality you turned out to be quite wrong. This book deals with Byron, a young boy who is told that 2 seconds will one day be added to time because of the Earth's rotation. Byron is convinced that this will change everything for him and everyone else, because how can you play with time? I thought this was a clever start to a book, and I very much a...
  • Dale Harcombe
    This book is not perfect but it is a good read, once you get into it. For the first chapter or so I wasn’t convinced, but then in its sneaky way it drew me in. Byron and James, are two 11-year-olds attending Winston House School. James shares information with Byron that at some point two seconds will be added to time. Byron keeps waiting for it to happen. When it does, he cannot believe the difference it makes in the life of his mother Diana an...
  • Robin
    This was a book that I wasn't sure I would like as it seemed very dark and the characters seemed somewhat vague (mainly because the story is told from the viewpoint of a child), and, quite frankly, I might not have continued if we weren't having a Skype discussion with the author today [Dec 18]. Turned out I was glad I continued as I really liked it by the time I finished and even got a little weepy at the end. Joyce did a masterful job at creati...