27 Aug 2018

PERFECT.

PERFECT by RACHEL JOYCE.


Summer, 1972: In the claustrophobic heat, eleven-year-old Byron and his friend begin ‘Operation Perfect’, a hapless mission to rescue Byron’s mother from impending crisis. 

Winter, present day: As frost creeps across the moor, Jim cleans tables in the local café, a solitary figure struggling with OCD. His job is a relief from the rituals that govern his nights.

Little would seem to connect them except that two seconds can change everything. 

And if your world can be shattered in an instant, can time also put it right?
- Back Cover Blurb

In 1972, two seconds were added to time.
- First Sentence, Prologue; The Addition Of Time

Beyond the estate, the moor looms dark and solid. Timeless layers of earth and grass have been ground to stone. An old moon shines over the land and a thousand million stars send points of light across the years. If the land stretched now, opened right up and swallowed the houses, the roads, the pylons, the lights, there would be no memory of anything human. There would only be the dark, sleeping hills and the ancient sky.
Memorable Moment, Page 129

SOURCE ... A charity shop buy.

READ FOR A CHALLENGE? ... Yes.
  • 9 of 12 books read for the 2018 Mount TBR Challenge.
MY THOUGHTS ... A book, the author's second. I must admit to feeling rather ambivalent about reading this, indeed I may well have passed it by if it weren't for the author's wonderful first novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. However ....

With its themes of class and gender, the burden of parental expectations and mental illness, for me personally, a novel that tried too hard to do too much; that more bleak than I had anticipated, at times, relentlessly so, I essentially found it all a bit depressing; that, whilst content that the revelation re the connection between Byron and Jim (this being the mystery that drove the whole story) would happen, it did so at a snail's pace and  felt all a bit contrived, alas, for me personally, Perfect was, well, less than Perfect.

Not without its redeeming features. The authors portrayal of his mental health issues amongst the most sensitively dealt with I've ever come across in fiction, beautiful to behold, I did enjoy Jim's story which, not without some humour, lent some much needed light to what was otherwise a somewhat dismal story. 






10 comments:

Suko said...

Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts about this book. Too bad this was not as compelling for you as the author's first book. But it does sound touching in some ways.

Brian Joseph said...

The description of mental illness, based upon your commentary sounds so well done. It is a pity that the book had so many other shortcomings. This added time angle also sounds so very interesting.

Literary Feline said...

I haven't yet read the author's first book, but it's on my TBR pile. This one sounds really good to me too. I'm sorry this wasn't better for you.

nightwingsraven said...

Tracy,
Keeping in mind your honest
criticism of tbis book. What
you said about its sensitive
portrayal of mental illness
still piques my curiosity.
And I would consider to add
the book to my list.
Raven

Tracy Terry said...

This aspect of the story was so well done. Its one of the reasons I hate the star rating system as overall I was only able to rate the book OK (2 stars) and yet, asked to rate this element of the book alone it would have got three, possibly four stars

Sherry Ellis said...

Anything dealing with mental health issues can be depressing. It sounds like this book was inundated with them.

Kelly said...

Well I don't need depressing at the moment, so I'll pass on this one. I really like that "memorable moment", though.

Melliane said...

it's a bit complicated

sherry fundin said...

Doesn't sound like one for me, but I do love that cover.
sherry @ fundinmental

Mary said...

I loved Harold Fry but I'm not sure about this one. I appreciate your review.