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254 Reviews
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect
This is a story about time. How a few seconds can alter lives forever.

Byron Hemming is concerned after his friend James tells him that two seconds are going to be added to time. He becomes convinced that this is unnatural and is sure to result in some disastrous consequences. He is not wrong. After he inadvertently causes an accident, his life begins to...
Published 7 months ago by Tash Last

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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointing
I loved Rachel Joyce’s first novel, ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’, but found her second one harder to get through.

On the one hand, we follow the lives of Byron, his family and his friend James over the course of a summer in the 1970’s. An accident, two additional seconds and a childish need to right a wrong will have...
Published 3 months ago by Macey89


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all, 23 July 2013
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This review is from: Perfect (Kindle Edition)
I loved Harold Fry but this is even better. Sad and full of dignity this book tackles a very difficult subject of mental illness and succeeds brilliantly . I cared so much for the characters and the style of writing feels so real. There is a twist towards the end of this novel that is so moving and somehow gives the reader such a sense of hope .
If there is any justice this book will be as popular as Harold was ,if not more so. Please give it a go but keep the tissues handy !
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brillant follow up to her first, 22 July 2013
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This review is from: Perfect (Hardcover)
I loved her first book - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - and am delighted to say this one doesn't disappoint. The knack of making characters come alive and make you invest in them is still present but this is a darker, more complex story hinged around a simple premise - the idea that a marginal alteration of time - can change and cause events. It's definitely worth a read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book title says it all!, 22 July 2013
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This review is from: Perfect (Kindle Edition)
Loved this book, a wonderful read. Superbly written in every way. The characters were human, and so easy to either admire, dislike or feel sympathy for (apologies, that was bad grammar!).
Please read this book!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect, 20 July 2013
This review is from: Perfect (Kindle Edition)
another stunning book by rachel joyce. what a wonderful talent she has. I cannoy wait for her third novel. Totally original.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smarter than the Unlikely Pilgrimage, 10 July 2013
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This review is from: Perfect (Hardcover)
It was Rachel's 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' that rekindled my fondness for reading fiction and despite my trying to read numerous other titles since, none have kept my attention like Harold's story did. Until now.

I almost didn't want to purchase the book in case it failed to deliver in the same way that her previous title did. What a mistake that would have been. Her characters are as warm and and as vibrant as they are in 'Harold', and such was my desire to discover their stories, I read the book in one sitting!

There are two stories that come together in a very smart and very heartwarming way. Is it better than The Unlikely Pilgrimage? In some ways I think it is. It is more complex and more enriched with intertwining characters and stories. However, it contains the same subtle touching moments that made her previous title such a lovely read.

I loved its cleverness, its subtlety, and its just beautiful story.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Curate's Egg, 24 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Perfect (Kindle Edition)
Good period piece, if a little over egged. I lived through this time and we never ever called it anything other than squash - orange squash if we were feeling verbose. These were the heady days before the obsession with branding sank its sharp and tainted claws into the flesh of impressionable mankind. If the author's research is worn too bright, as it is here, I am constantly distanced from the text - and not in a literary way.
So I have started with the bad, I will end with the good. The sense of barriers, between classes, sexes, and between the seemingly mentally healthy and the mentally ill, is well conveyed and anyone with a yearning for 'the good old days' should take heed. The narrative takes some unlikely turns, but that's okay in my book(s) - I like a romping yarn and am not as strict about story as I am about style!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practically perfect., 24 July 2013
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This review is from: Perfect (Kindle Edition)
I liked "Harold Fry" but I loved this.

It reminded me of " The Go Between", where a child interferes disatrously in an adult's world during one summer, and it affects the whole of his future life.
Whilst reading it I at first thought that Jim was one, then the other, of the boys and I wasn't sure until it was revealed quite near the end. All the supporting characters were interesting, although I felt that Lucy was forgotten for most of the time (this may have been intentional), and I was not sure of Beverley's motivation. Paula, Darren and Mr Mead were comic relief and heart warming in their support of Jim.
The meeting of the children as adults was very satisfying, and all the ends were neatly tied. The epilogue made my heart soar. Thank you, Rachel, please write more.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the author of Harold Fry a different but good novel, 12 July 2013
By 
JudithAnn (Houten, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Perfect (Hardcover)
Byron is 11 years old in 1972 when something terrible happens: his mother makes a mistake without realising. Should he tell her? It's better for her not to know, but really, they should investigate the consequences of her mistake. Byron worries about this for a long time.

The mistake evolves to some rather strange developments, totally against what Byron's father would want, if he heard of it. He's not at home very often, but he is in control of what happens in the household and Byron's mother has to report to him every night (by phone). Eventually, everything changes for the family. If only Byron hadn't known about the 2 seconds that were added to time. His friend James helps him to sort out the mess in his own precocious pre-teenage way.

The story of Byron is alternated with the story of 55-year old Jim in the current time. He's got OCD and is in a bad state. He just about keeps on to his very simple job while he's obviously very intelligent. He looks back on the summer in which Byron's mother made her mistake and suspects his condition is related to the events that happened at the time.

I found the transition from an 11 year old boy in 1972 to a 55 year old man in the current time a bit difficult. They didn't seem to have anything in common (except for the summer of 1972) and the stories developed almost independently of each other. But of course, in the end they do come together in an unexpected way.

There was a lot to love about the book, too: the strict regime of Byron's father, the schemes of James to help Byron's mother's situation (through Byron), Jim's situation as a middle-aged man and his possible love affair.

It's very different from Harold Fry but another very good book.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 27 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Perfect (Kindle Edition)
It didnt grip me at all.i only read it so I could go on to my next book.didnt live up to expectations
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Too Sad, 18 July 2013
By 
Basement Cat (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Perfect (Hardcover)
'Harold Fry' was probably my favourite book of 2012, so I looked forward with great anticipation to Rachel Joyce's latest title. It is a very beautifully written book, and maybe it was just my own frame of mind at the time that I was reading it, but I just found it too depressing. I did persevere with it to the end, but sometimes I picked it up with a sense of dread, wondering what else could happen to this poor, sad child. And I think that this is the difference between this book and Harold Fry. That could have been a depressing story, but because the characters were adults, it did not seem to be so harrowing. There was also a lot of hope in that book, which seems to be absent in this one. Byron's childhood seems to be filled with unremitting misery and loneliness caused by his inadequate parents, who in turn are trapped by their own pasts. The book is set in both the early 1970's and the present day, and concerns the addition of two extra seconds to correct time lost due to the earth's rotation. This terrifies Byron, who is a very nervous child, and is the addition of these seconds that set in motion all the events that follow. There are several attempts at humour - for example, Beverley, but I thought the gloom far outweighed this. It is a good book, but it's probably best not to give it to someone who's feeling a bit depressed.
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Perfect by Rachel Joyce (Paperback - 27 Feb 2014)
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