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The Perfect

After the success of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Rachel Joyce follows with a very moving and elegant second novel.

England, 1972. Byron Hemmings, age 11, learns from his best friend that two seconds will be added to time to make official time coincide with the actual rotation of the Earth. This terrifies him. Isn’t playing with time extremely dangerous?

Being an upstanding young citizen, he decides to write to the BBC, to NASA, to his MP…but nobody seems to take it seriously.

When he sees the second hand on his watch move backwards, he rushes to show his mother. But as she is busy driving, he distracts her.

And something terrible happens…

Diana’s perfectly constructed life falls apart bit by bit. Who is really responsible? Fate? Coincidence? Or the two seconds that should never have existed?

This tender and poetic text explores the themes of human fragility, the tenuous nature of existence and redemption through friendship and love.


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