Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: Perfect by Rachel Joyce

On the jacket:

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. But how could time change? The steady movement of hands around a clock was 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?


Perfect is about Byron and his friend James. And his mother. James tells Byron that two seconds were added to the clock, in 1972 and Byron believes him. There is no reason not to, James was the most clever boy in school. However, Byron knew that a difference of two seconds is not small things - something could have happened, and something could not have happened. 

One day when Byron was being driven to school by his mother, he saw the second hand of his watch go back. His mother didn't notice it though. He told James about it and together they hatched a plan, or Operation Perfect. With this, they try to take care of the repercussions to follow the time change.

Along with Byron and James, the story is also about Byron's mother. And there is a parallel story about Jim trying to cope with his mind. Very detailed, thought provoking and heart touching, Perfect can choke you with emotions at points. I am yet to read Rachel Joyce's first book The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, but now I want to - before her third book is out.

Rating: ****/5

[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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