Perfect by Rachel Joyce

Perfect_Bryan Hemmings knew that time was going to slip at some point. It had been in the news that they were going to adjust it by a few seconds, a perfectly logical thing to do, or so Bryan’s friend James said, in order to match it to the earth’s rotation. But eleven year old Bryan is not so sure that they should be messing around with time and carries a sense of foreboding that something terrible will happen when they change time. And it did.

As they were driving to school one very foggy morning in the fancy new car that Bryan’s father had bought for his mother, something happened in just a split second that changed the course of Bryan’s life. Something that his mother who was driving and even his sister who was in the car didn’t even notice, but Bryan did and now he is sure that their perfect life will never be the same.

Over the next few days Bryan realizes that he cannot rely on his mother who seems oblivious to what happened and his father, who only comes from working in London on the weekends, cannot be relied upon either and so he confides in his best friend James and they devise a plan to save his mother and his family. But the more they try to help the more things seem to get complicated and then they slowly unravel until nothing is left of his former life.

Joyce has an uncanny ability to get in the mind of a child and lets us see how they see and understand their world . She sets things in motion and you can see them coming towards you like a train wreck that you cannot stop, and you understand the helpless feelings that Bryan experiences in his inability to help or change the course of events. She is able to unravel the barriers that prevent us from understanding mental illness and lets us see inside the mind of someone who in their effort to have control over things loses touch with reality and slips into magical thinking.  Her characters are sharply drawn and interesting and we see the consequences of secrets, pride and the lack of trust can have on a family.  Joyce, however finds unexpected redemption in the small things, and although Bryan’s life is no longer what he expected, he is drawn towards something new with the help of strangers he can claim his own new life.

Brenda’s Rating: ****(4 Stars out of 5)

Recommend this book to: Sharon, Marian, Lauren and Keith

Books Study worthy? Yes

Read in ebook format.


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