How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Random House UK/Transworld Publishers


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


I absolutely loved Rachel Joyce’s debut novel The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, so I went into reading this book with very high expectations. I think it’s a good read, but for me, I wasn’t as gripped as I thought I might be. That said, it’s incredibly easy to read, and it confirms my thoughts that Rachel Joyce is a brilliant writer.

I think what stands out the most about this book, is the very moving moments, much like Harold Fry. The young boy in this book, Byron, goes through a journey too, but this time the journey is growing up and making choices rather than going on an epic physical journey.

The book tells a story of different people. Byron and James who are two middle-class boys, growing up in the 1970s. Byron is very obsessive about two seconds that are going to be added to the year. His best friend James is his source of advice on several matters because James is incredibly intelligent. One day, Byron’s mother has an accident as she’s driving Byron and his sister to school. Byron blames the accident on the two added seconds and becomes completely obsessed with these two extra seconds. Byron and James investigate the accident and the consequences of the accident with ‘Operation Perfect’. Without spoiling the book, things escalate and have an affect on the boys…Another story that runs through the book is Jim’s story. Jim struggles with mental health issues and receives advice from his colleagues.

I enjoyed reading this book. Like Harold Fry, the matters in the book are dealt with incredibly sensitively, and there are some beautiful characters with fabulous relationships. I particularly liked the relationship between Byron and his mum. Whilst I didn’t enjoy it as much as Harold Fry, I’m still encouraged by Rachel Joyce’s writing and I’d definitely read more from her!

Would I recommend it?:

Reading next:
As You Wake- Amy Martin

2 thoughts on “Perfect

  1. I loved Harold Fry so I’d definitely read something else of Rachel Joyce’s. I must add this book to my TBR list. 🙂

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