Perfect

perfectA moment in time when everything changes.  That’s what twelve-year old Byron experiences when his mother is driving him to school one morning in 1972.  The weird thing?  She doesn’t seem to recognize or remember that anything happened.  Byron goes to his friend James for help in figuring out what really happened, and what to do about it, while still protecting his mother.  Byron finds himself taking on an adult role in his relationship with his mother, a loving parent, but one who seems disconnected as she struggles with her unhappy and controlling marriage, being stuck in the country alone with her children, while dealing with everyone’s expectations of her.

Alternating with Byron’s story are chapters telling the story of Jim, a middle-aged man living in a van and struggling with his OCD and social awkwardness while attempting to hold down a job at a supermarket café.  Surrounded by an odd and interesting cast of co-workers, his story his often both sad and amusing.

I loved Rachel Joyce’s first novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye, and her second work did not disappoint.  Towards the beginning of the book there is some awkwardness in the alternating stories, but it passed quickly, leaving me engrossed in both stories, how they would weave together, and how things would ultimately end.  Both Byron and Jim’s stories are wonderfully engaging and touching.  Sad, yet interspersed with humor, the ripples of an added moment move throughout time.

“Besides, the big things in life do not present themselves as such. They come in the quiet, ordinary moments– a phone call, a letter– they come when we are not looking, without clues, without warning, and that is why they floor us. And it can take a lifetime, a life of many years, to accept the incongruity of things: that a small moment can sit side by side with a big one, and become part of the same.” 

Title: Perfect
Author: Rachel Joyce
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 400
Publication: Random House, January 2014

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Tuesday Top Ten

top ten debuts 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week’s challenge was to list the top ten debuts for 2014.  I wasn’t sure if that meant debut authors or just debut books, so I went with books since it’s hard enough for me to come up with my top ten list of new books for 2014 (I haven’t looked out that far into 2014!) without adding the complication of needing a debut author as well!   These are actually probably the top ten books I am looking forward to this winter since I haven’t really explored too much of what is coming out later in the year…

  1. Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – While I loved The Secret Life of Bees I admittedly never have read The Mermaid’s Chair (and even sadder, it might be in my TBR pile, but I’m not sure…), but I am not going to let this one slip by!
  2. Perfect by Rachel Joyce – I adored The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye and am looking forward to her next book!
  3. Orfeo by Richard Powers – My next Indiespensable that will be arriving this month!
  4. The Museum of Extraordinary Things  by Alice Hoffman – While I have not read all of her novels, she has never disappointed me!  Her prose is always beautiful, thought-provoking, and engrossing.
  5. Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy – LOVE her books and grateful for the opportunity to read her one more time…
  6. One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern – The concept sounds interesting, and while my enjoyment of some of her previous books has varied, I am looking forward to seeing where she takes us in her latest.
  7. Dear Abigail: The Intimate Lives and Revolutionary Ideas of Abigail Adams and Her Two Remarkable Sisters by Diane Jacobs – I believe that Abigail Adams is one of the most interesting women in American history and after reading Book of Ages I am ready to re-immerse myself in this time in women’s history.
  8. Fortunate Son: A Novel of the Greatest Trial in Irish History by David Marlett – This novelization of true events, combining Irish and American history, with results that still impact our judicial system today, sounds fascinating to me.
  9. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson – Her gritty and realistic YA novels are disturbingly wonderful.
  10. Landline by Rainbow Rowell – The best new-to-me author that I discovered in 2013, I thought Eleanor & Park and Fangirl were both wonderful real books for teens and I’m looking forward to seeing if she will do the same when writing adult fiction.

Tuesday Top Ten

top ten winter tbr

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

This week’s challenge is to list the top ten books on my winter To-Be-Read list.  My TBR list never gets shorter, it’s much longer than 10 books, and there are probably many that I am not even thinking about yet, but here are ten books that I am looking forward to reading this winter…

top ten tbr post