Clock Dance

Clock Dance

Book - 2018 | First edition
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Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life. In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother's sudden disappearance. In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal. In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together. And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother, yet the prospect is dimming. So, when Willa receives a phone call from a stranger, telling her that her son's ex-girlfriend has been shot, she drops everything and flies across the country to Baltimore. The impulsive decision to look after this woman and her nine-year-old daughter will lead Willa into uncharted territory--surrounded by eccentric neighbors, plunged into the rituals that make a community a family, and forced to find solace in unexpected places.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2018
Edition: First edition
Branch Call Number: FICTION TYL
Characteristics: 291 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9780525521228


From Library Staff

Ordinary and fascinating are one and the same in Tyler's world and that feels very wise and true. She appreciates the uniqueness of every character, particularly their potential for self-discovery and change. As always, her book is accessible, heartening, charming, and brilliantly subtle. Recomme... Read More »

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bookishdl Nov 29, 2018

I liked this but didn't love it but couldn't give it 3 stars as it deserves more purely for the exquisite writing by Tyler. It seemed to take me a very long time to finish even though it's a short novel really. Characterisation was wonderful as Tyler always seems to be able to do. The story meanders along and it was wonderful to see the development of the relationship between Willa, Denise and Cheryl. I was a little bit smitten with Cheryl if I'm honest. It was a skilful tactic of the author to present Willa as a person who didn't recognise her own value and yet so many others liked her for who she was and saw her real qualities.

The final paragraph was fabulous! I gave a little punch in the air - read it to see why.

Nov 06, 2018

'Clock Dance' portrays Willa's life, from the time she was a child but had to play an adult's role when her mother left now and then, to the time she yearns to be a grandparent. We see Willa going to college, marrying Derek, becoming widowed and remarrying. However, the most poignant parts of the book are when she travels across the country to look after a child who is not really her grandchild. In doing so she has a falling out with her husband but this does not deter her. I enjoyed reading about Willa's relationship with nine-year old Cheryl and the ending was just spectacular.

Nov 05, 2018

Tyler told a story but the interesting pieces like relationships with the neighborhood peeps or with an unlikely ex-girlfriend of an estranged son never developed past surface events. It seems like, at times, authors of many books just crank one out.

Anne Tyler's strength has always been her multi-layered individual characters. Everyone in this book seemed one-dimensional and formulaic. The main character's parents had promise as truly unusual people, but they disappear early on, and the story hops disjointedly from childhood to college to marriage to death to remarriage. I never really got to know anyone except Willa.

Oct 09, 2018

If you love stories about families that focus on the characters and relationships between family members, you will enjoy this book. Anne Tyler seems to specialize in this type of thing and she is right on the mark with this book.

ontherideau Oct 08, 2018

I thought this was one of Anne Tyler's weaker books. No life is perfect and the reader is expected to believe Willa's new life will be measurably better for her.

Sep 24, 2018

I have read everyone of Anne Tyler's books. Some I loved, some I liked, some I thought I had wasted my time. This one I loved and really enjoyed. And to sort of quote another commenter Hurray for Willa! She discovered her Mojo!

Sep 19, 2018

Easy reading. Conventional woman whose character was yet another woman
"stuck" in the "people-pleasing mode;" but, her charitable kindness in taking the trip to Baltimore was a refreshing aspect of a person's intention to do, or be, something unique in the world. Refreshing charitable kindness, like water to the woman's soul.
I think it's my first Tyler book I've started, and then finished.

Sep 19, 2018

I have read a number of books by Tyler but had not read one in a number of years. After a pretty steady diet of thriller type murder mysteries this book is like laying on a feather bed, outdoors, on a perfect night, under the stars. I found myself easily sinking back into her mesmerizing description of the details of everyday life (underdone frozen green beans squeaking on Willa’s teeth). Tyler can do it like no other. To get through difficult days after a death, Willa’s father suggests breaking down days into moments in order to cope. In some ways, that is how Willa has lived her life—moment by moment. Doing just what is expected of her. After her adventure in Baltimore, she reconsiders this strategy and steps back to see the big picture. In doing so, her world opens to endless possibilities.

Sep 09, 2018

This was a very enjoyable book and I rooted for Willa to find her own life.

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