Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2014 book 1

Rachel Joyce's Perfect
Joyce's latest--after the great Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry--has two parallel storylines. The first involves two school friends, Byron and James, and what happens when Byron and his mother are involved in an accident. The second involves a grownup Jim and his complicated life. The first storyline has a lot of interesting things going on, particularly with Byron's parents' marriage and his mother's class issues--but at a certain point, Byron and his mother are both so naive that it becomes frustrating to read, waiting for the other shoe to drop on their idiocy. And then things kind of go haywire and everything is a little too much over the top melodramatic. The second storyline is less messy, but more tender and sad somehow. Joyce does a good job of showing how the two tie together, but definitely the modern side of the story is a lot stronger. B/B+.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released on Tuesday.

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