‘That’s what nobody realises. Two seconds are huge. It’s the difference between something happening and something not happening.’
In 1972, two seconds were added to the clock. Two very disconcerted boys fret about the implications of messing with the time-space continuum. Their fears are realised when a momentary slip from Byron’s mother disrupts the peace of their sleepy suburban childhoods.
Byron and James embark on ‘Operation Perfect’; a bid to save Byron’s angelic mother from the consequences of her mistake.
A second narrative thread introduces a present day Jim, who suffers from a severe form of OCD. Having spent much of his life in institutions, he’s struggling with life on the outside. He spends his days working in a café, unable to escape his past.
‘Sometimes it is easier, he thinks, to live out the mistakes we have made than to summon the energy and imagination required to repair them.’
Perfect is a heart-rending tale of innocence betrayed, reminding us that two seconds have the power to change everything. It’s grittier than Rachel’s previous bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, but just as poignant and beautifully crafted.
The paperback of Perfect just came out on Thursday 27th Feb.