Perfect by Rachel Joyce is a novel of heartbreak and loss; of trying to be perfect but never succeeding and ultimately of finding forgiveness and moving on. I listened to the audio version of Perfect narrated by Paul Rhys. I thought his voice was perfect for the telling of this story with its smooth, somber tone.
Perfect weaves back in forth in time from 1972 to the present. In 1972 while Byron’s mother Diana is driving into a dense fog something happens that irrevocably changes Byron’s life in all aspects. From that point on between the two seconds that were taken from the world that Byron believes is disastrous and the incident with his mother Byron is left dealing with things that no child should. He is fiercely protective of his mother and will do anything to try to make both of their lives as perfect as they were before the incident and he and his best friend James set out to do just that.
Alternately in the present we have Jim who suffers from mental illness. He spends his life focusing on the rituals that keep him able to function at all. He tries to work at various things but his illness severely inhibits what he can do. He feels all alone in the world but eventually he begins to realize that there are people out there who care. Seemingly these two story lines have nothing to do with each other but they come together seamlessly in the end.
I found the themes in this novel interesting. Young Byron trying to deal with adult issues that he’s fully incapable of handling and they affect his life in so many ways. Then there is his mother Diana who is trapped in a marriage with a domineering man. There is no love and she spends her time trying to be the perfect wife and mother to satisfy this man. It is her love and strong bond with her children that keeps her going but ultimately is even that enough in the end.
I enjoyed Perfect for the most part. I found the beginning quite slow and at times a bit confusing with the two story lines. As it all began to come together though I was hooked and anxious to see how it would all end and it’s quite the ending too as it surprised me. For those readers who enjoy deeper literary fiction and great writing Perfect s a good pick.
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GIVEAWAY DETAILS (US Only)
I have one copy of Perfect by Rachel Joyce to share with my US readers. To enter…
- Leave a comment for 1 entry to the giveaway.
- Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 2 extra entries.
This giveaway is open to US residents only and I will draw for the winner on January 11/14. Good luck!
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.