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?
©2013 Rachel Joyce (P)2013 Random House AudioGo
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I should start by saying this is different from the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, except for its tone and its beautiful prose, and in the way the author portrays the mind of unique characters. I loved this book, I found it touching and delicate. It's a slow burn, but if you're the kind of reader who doesn't need thrill after thrill, you'll enjoy the story- not to say that it's boring, because it isn't. This is the kind of book that made me find more chores to do around the house, just so that I could listen to one more chapter. The narrator is just superb and gives the right intonation to the children's thoughts and really brings to life the writing.
"I struggled with this but actually it was worth it"
For the first time in ages I nearly gave up on this one. I found the first half slow and very disappointing. I had loved Harold Fry, one of my all time favourites. Strangely I just kept going thinking it will get better and it did. For some this slow build may work, for me just to slow and ambling.
I do not want to say much as the story is clever and often surprising.
All I can say if you are struggling with this one do stick with it I am so pleased I did.
"There's always one (bad review)..."
...and this one is it. I loved "Harold Fry" and was looking forward to the next book from Joyce. It didn't need to be all the way up there with the "Pilgrimage" but I was sure it would be good. Unfortunately half way into the book I got so bored I just couldn't continue (and it doesn't happen to me very often). I just skimmed the rest to see if my predictions were correct (which they generally were).
The characters (every single one of them) were annoyingly naive and acted like they were from another planet. All seemed very artificial. The plot felt weird and unlikely. There was a lot of fluff so it took ages to put across a simple point.
I appreciate many won't agree with me (and all the good reviews will support the case against me) and maybe I was in the wrong state of mind, but it doesn't change the fact that I didn't like the book at all, found it a complete bore and was surprised that it came from under the same pen that committed one of my favorite books ever.
Anyway. There's plenty more where this one came from and I'm readying the credits for other good reads.
"Perfect is .... perfect"
I absolutely loved this book, poignant, sad, clever and so well written, I was sad to finish it, without giving any of the storyline away I have a few questions though, why didn't Jim get life insurance payment or money left, why didn't people ask him to write down what he wanted to say, last of all why didn't anyone think to spy on Beverly at her home to see if things were different there, apart from that this book is now one of my f top fav books also Rachel Joyce my fav author, I have read all her books in a week.. I would rate this book 20/10.
"very good effort"
yes, although...i loved 'the unlikely pilgrimage' and i found the character of harold fry heartwarming, flawed but redeemable and the story wonderful. this story is good but frustrating at times, and heartbreaking to the point where you think the characters have hit rock bottom but no, there's more to come.
oh yes, it would make a fab TV series!
"very good if a little laboured at the end"
the characterisation is lovely. you really care about the characters, for me the story could have ended a couple of chapters earlier really
Beautifully written and a marvellously sympathetic narration. Friendship, loneliness, loss, redemption, hope. Not a tale for the faint hearted but a story to love and one that will stay with you.
"I gave up"
I loved the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and the Love Song of Queenie and was aware from other reviewers that Perfect would be very different and that it would take time to become engaging. I've listened for many hours as two disconnected amble along in a directionless way. I could have kept on listening to these mildly interesting stories but for the tiresome writing style overburdened with similes: hardly any description stands alone but has to be "like" something else to emphasize the allusion. Few emotions or situations escape being over-egged to be "as if" some other thing. I couldn't stand anymore of this deluge of verbiage and gave up.
The narrator does a grand job. Pity he has to wade through so much superfluous prolixity.
"Touching, poignant, beautiful story"
I've just finished listening to this book. Although, as other reviewers have pointed out, it is a slow burn, it is so worth sticking with it. Beautifully written. very clever observations of life in the 1970's (I love the 'New Mother' character at school who no-one bothers ever to learn the name of), poignant characters. I just loved it. Very good narration too. This book will stay with me a while.....
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