Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
Not too long ago, book club meetings at Barnes & Noble were starting to wrap up. This was only the second B&N Book Club meeting of the year. I had decided this morning not to go, and instead stay all day at home. The book that was discussed, was just finished merely two hours ago.
I have to admit, before I begin: I’m always not the best at book reviews. I do enjoy keeping my book reviews short and without giving away any spoilers. Clock Dance, by Anne Tyler (not Taylor) was a definitely a book I’d probably not read again until I was much older.
The story is divided into three parts: 1967, 1977, and 2017. You learn about Willa’s (main character in each decade) childhood, first marriage, and second. Family, for me, was the center role for observations. Willa’s childhood does change how she interacts with her children when they are adults. With the gap between 1977 and 2017, the two sons aren’t children anymore.
Favorite Part About the Book
At first, I was quite annoyed with it. But near the end of the story, I was more compelled to finish the book (more on that later). As someone who grew up with a somewhat absent father, I could relate to one minor characters actions around male figures. But, it was the frustrations with the other side of the dynamic (Willa’s experience with her mother/sister) that I learned from. It’s the similar emotions that I’ve been through, except some slight differences. At times, I could foreshadow certain characters with certain actions and those were times when I would just want to yell “typical” but not even a page later, there was a swerve. This is a backwards example, but just roll with it. As a reader, you find out who accidentally fired a gun. 100% not who I was expecting. Except, the page before the character who confessed showed signs of stress, concern, behavior changes. etc. While at first it seemed like the news was dropped out of the blue (that he shot the gun), upon reflection it was actually a missed clue.
Why I Almost Didn’t Complete the Book:
There are some books that you read that just don’t pull you to finish it, or to continue to read it. The books that we love to read tend to be the reasons why some people love to read. Once in a while, you’ll reach a book that just doesn’t grab your attention. It’s not that you don’t want to finish reading a book- it’s that you aren’t interested in learning the ending of the story. Nothing in the plot or characters grabs your interest, or maybe you are just quite annoyed with how certain characters act. Like, doesn’t anyone have common sense? Again and again, I have to remind myself that emotions like frustration from readers is a good sign; the story teller is doing their job.
Last Minute Thoughts:
I’m not saying everything has to be connected within a story, but I wasn’t accustomed to Anne Tyler’s style of writing. I had a friend inform me (while I was half-way through the book) that Tyler’s stories tend to have various parts but not all of them are strung together for a spider web-like story. Sure, some characters may have interacted at one time, but they may not have any relations with each other.
I mentioned earlier that I’d wait until I was older to re-read this book. Being only 25, only part of the story was within my age range (childhood and university stories). And, as someone who is happily & content with the single life, marriage is something that’s no where on my radar (by like 5-10 years, by my educated guess). Most of the daily life habits of the characters wasn’t relateable. Now maybe when I’ve continued to improve myself, in several more years, will there be a chance that I might enjoy this book.
For now, that’s all I have to say about Anne Tyler’s new book. I do recommend you buy this book, or check it out from the library. I’ll return my copy to the library, and hope that a new reader will enjoy the book as well.
What’s a newly published story you’ve read that inspired you to continue writing? Let me know in the comments below.
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