Nominated by:

Cape Breton Regional Library, Sydney, Canada

Tulsa City-County Library, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Random House, USA

Bond Street Books, Canada


Rachel Joyce      

2015 Longlist

From the author of the international bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, comes another exquisite and emotionally resonant novel about the search for the truth and unconditional love.

On a foggy spring morning in 1972, twelve-year-old Byron Hemming and his mother are driving to school in the English countryside. On the way, in a life-changing two seconds, an accident occurs. Or does it? Byron is sure it happened, but his mother, sitting right next to him in the car, has no reaction to it. Over the course of the days and weeks that follow, Byron embarks on a journey to discover what really happened–or didn’t–that fateful morning when everything changed. It is a journey that will take him–a loveable and cloistered twelve-year-old boy with a loveable and cloistered twelve-year-old boy’s perspective on life–into the murkier, more difficult realities of the adult world, where people lie, fathers and mothers fight without words, and even unwilling boys must become men. Byron will have to reconcile the dueling realities of that summer, a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit and the power of compassion.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Rachel Joyce is the author of the international bestseller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. She is also the award-winning writer of more than twenty plays for BBC Radio 4. She started writing after a twenty-year acting career, in which she performed leading roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company and won multiple awards. She lives with her family on a Gloucestershire farm.

Librarian’s Comments

Perfect is a subtle and restrained coming-of-age novel that grapples with the unreliability of memory, the fluid nature of time, and the frailty of life. Joyce has constructed a quiet meditation on lonliness, mental illness, and the healing strength of human connection.

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