British writer AnneMarie Casey’s debut novel examines the lives of four women living in Manhattan, all in or approaching their 40s. While each of them is married with young children, they’re all at different points on the scale of marital bliss.
Central character Lucy is forced to swap her posh life in London for a cramped apartment in New York after her husband loses his job and is offered a lowly position in the US. There she meets workaholic scriptwriter Julia, who’s been scorned by her old life after walking out on her husband and Middle England, 1972, a leap year, two extra seconds were added to time. While this probably seemed insignificant to most, passing unnoticed, for 11-year-old school friends Byron and James, it’s a terrifying prospect.
When you mess with time, mistakes happen. At least, that’s how it seems to Byron and James and, despite their efforts, the spiralling consequences are beyond their control.
For anybody who read Rachel Joyce’s debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry – which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize – Perfect would have been highly anticipated. Claire Coffey hasn’t had a good few months. She has split up with her fiancé and, in an attempt to remain living in the New York apartment she loves, has also got herself into debt.
And so, aged nearly 30, she finds herself in that position not unusual in the current financial climate – an adult living back at home with her mum, Weezy, dad, Will, and sister, Martha, who has social difficulties and has never moved away from home. Soon enough, Claire’s brother Max also moves home. It’s a busy house.
This is the story of a challenging year for the Coffeys. There are