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Novelist, Rachel Joyce Visits David's Bookshop

11 May 2014

Rachel Joyce came to us recently and talked about her newest novel, Perfect.  I think we all found her as true in person as she is in voice.  Lovely, soft spoken and funny, she explained that Perfect was a book that she had thought to write years ago when her children were very young.  The first flash of the novel came to her on a school run when she was sitting in London traffic with her new-born baby howling and school-gate competitive fairy cakes in the front seat, the ones that had made her late to get her eldest daughter to school. It was a flash then that took hold of her, not only of stress but also of her amazement of her state of mind. She told us that she had felt so stretched that if anything else happened she wouldn’t be able to deal with it.  The inspiration that came from this moment first started with characters and then different ideas for the story knocked around in her head for years.

In response to a question from the audience, Rachel confessed that she herself steals eggs from goose nests because she can’t bare crows to have them.  She then read from this scene when the mother of main character, 11-year-old Byron Hemmings, snatches a goose egg from a nest. The egg thievery seems a pivotal point in the novel. Byron realises during this scene that his mother, Diana has become someone else and doesn’t feel like a mother anymore. Diana unravels and her role as a mother becomes as void as an empty nest.

We loved having Rachel Joyce at the bookshop to share her beautiful novel with us.

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