July 07, 2014

Book Review - Perfect by Rachel Joyce

This is by the author of 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' which I totally adored. This is good .. perhaps not as good for me as Pilgrimage was. The stories are not connected but what does link them is the author's consideration of what can happen when a life is derailed by a single incident, especially for people who are detached from a close social circle for whatever reason. Her descriptions of place and her uncanny use of each character's voice are superb, as are her gentle and penetrating observations. "It occurred to Byron that over the summer holidays Diana had become someone else. She was not like a mother anymore. At least not one who told you to clean your teeth and wash behind your ears. She had become someone who was maybe more like a friend of your mother's or her sister; if only she'd had either of those. She had strayed into being someone who understood it was not always pleasant or interesting to keep cleaning your teeth or washing behind your ears, and turned a blind eye when you chose not to do them. It was a gift to have a mother like this. He was lucky. But it was also unsettling. It left him feeling slightly out in the wind, as if a wall had fallen down that was something to do with why things kept going. It meant he wanted to ask sometimes if she had remembered to clean her own teeth or wash behind her ears." Wendy

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