Clock Dance

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

This book is pure Anne Tyler from page one. Anne Tyler fans will like this one just as much. It's exactly what you expect. A nice one for book club discussions.
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Unbelieveably, this is my first read of an Anne Tyler novel. I found "Clock Dance" to be enjoyable once well into the text. The first 1/3rd felt like slow going, but it related well to the rest of the novel, and served to develop the mindset of the main character, Willa. The snippets of her major life experiences revealed her personality and underscored her fears and ambitions. The true meat of the story falls in the last 2/3rds, where she makes a rash decision to assist a woman who used to date her son after an accident, half a country away. Right to the very end I questions the motive and goals of Willa, but after all was said and done, I think she find herself, so to...

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This book will deliver exactly what you expect from Anne Tyler. Solid domestic fiction with interesting family dynamics. A gently told, thoughtful story. If you appreciate these qualities in a book, you will find this to be a satisfying and comforting read.
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I've read almost all of Anne Tyler's books, and they're always good in a quiet, gently funny way. I feel like she's partly formed how I see the world at this point. (I once hoped that my brother-in-law would be saved from his closed-off life by an encounter with my circle of friends, but ah well. Life can't always be an Anne Tyler novel.)

Willa is one of Tyler's many characters who is living one of those closed-off lives. She long ago observed her dramatic, abusive mother and endlessly soothing, agreeable father and decided that the choice is this: you can be a disruptor or an accommodator, and she chose the latter. Which causes her to never engage very much...

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Ann Tyler is one of my favorite authors, and she does not disappoint in writing a well-detailed character-driven story. I would definitely recommend this title to my fiends.
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The beginning of this book felt like Some Luck by Jane Smiley, which I love! You are following a character quickly through time and jumping decades. She’s just a slow burn, moving through the decades without dramatic plots or events.  So at first I was thinking, this is going to be great. But then, there was a semi-dramatic plot event. And that’s where the book focused. I didn’t even like the plot twist. It seemed so unusual. However, I like how Willa grew as a character and that she ended up finding herself and what she wanted without other’s influence. Along with Jane Smiley, I’d say it’s also similar to Stewart O’Nan or Kent Haruf.
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Anne Tyler has spun a tale of male dominance in a women’s life so subtle you’ll hardly recognize the theme until you’re almost done. It’s so beautifully crafted you’ll be confused as to why you were supporting some of the characters at first.
Willa has been in the shadows her entire life; first by her overdramatic mother and even her passive father. Then to her college boyfriend who becomes her confident husband. But in 2017, she is called unexpectedly to care for her adult son’s ex-girlfriend, and her unrelated child, in another state. Yes, you read that sentence correctly.
Willa travels to Baltimore, Maryland from her home in Arizona to help care for complete strangers. (The dialogue of...

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Anne Tyler’s Clock Dance.is an interesting read about Willa, an empty nester whose life gets into gear when her son’s ex girlfriend Denise is shot in the leg. Denise’s neighbor, Callie calls Willa when she finds her name on an emergency list in Denise's home, Callie figures Willa would take over the care of Denise’s child and dog not realizing or just not caring that Willa really isn’t next of kin. Willa along with her second husband Peter, fly to Arizona to temporarily take care the child and dog until Denise is out of the hospital. Peter is not thrilled to have Willa doing this but insists on going along with her. He thinks that they can stay a short while and then fly back...

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Willa Drake wants to be happy and successful. What begins as a life full of promise in a rewarding career as a linguist ends as an unfulfilled and tragic life as a wife and mother to two boys who do not appreciate her. So, Willa takes the seemingly bizarre role as a pseudo-grandmother to a child she has never met. This story is delightful and thought-provoking. Tyler, per usual, keeps the reader in the story and makes the reader ponder her own life’s ambitions and work. A joy to read!
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Anne Tyler is a fascinating author. Her characters are always unique & different. It's a great way to experience other people in new settings.  I didnt really relate to Willa but I liked Cheryl & Denise. I knew where it was leading up to but I was expecting the ending to be a little more elaborate and dramatic. Overall a lovely novel, but needed a little more.
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Another excellent book written by Kristin Harmel. I love "The Nightengale" and this book is as good if not better. The three main characters are Ruby, Charlotte and Thomas. Thomas is a pilot and when his plane is shot down he is rescued by Ruby. She hides him from the Germans and helps him find his way back to his base. There is a lot of suspense as Ruby also hides many other pilots. She is also hiding Charlotte, a Jewish child when her parents are captured. Great book.
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Willa Drake is a very ordinary woman.   She is surrounded by very ordinary people and that is what makes this book so special. Anne Tyler pulls together a cast of characters leading normal lives. The novel follows Willa’s life from age 11 -61 and I was pulling for her all the way.  Tyler weaves a satisfying story out of common events.
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need to say that Anne Tyler is one of my all time favorite novelists. Nevertheless, this latest book didn’t live up to my (admittedly high) expectations. The story transitions through Willa Drake’s life, childhood, college, young mother and recent widow, and remarried retiree. It is not until Willa impetuously flies to Baltimore to help her son’s ex-girlfriend, the victim of a random shooting, with her child care and home health care, did the book come to life for me. And then the book ended abruptly, just when I was getting really invested in Willa’s evolution, which is only hinted at in the final pages. I wish Tyler had given us more of retiree Willa’s self discovery, but I will take this...

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A beautifully told story of time and relationships: those we have and those we want. Anne Tyler excels at weaving lives together to create simple, yet interesting moments of a woman's life and how she transforms herself into the person she wants to become.
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Willa is a very bland, sort of get-along-with-everyone character. She goes from being dominated by her mother, who has some kind of anger management issue, or is possibly bipolar, or something, to being dominated by her both her first and second husbands, both of whom definitely have anger management issues. She's got skills (I was shocked about 2/3 of the way through the book when she mentions that she speaks 5 languages) but recently gave her job teaching ESL to follow her second husband into retirement in Arizona, where she identifies most with the lone saguaro cactus in front of her house.

When she gets a call that her son's ex-girlfriend (who she never met) has been shot and...

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A solid addition to Anne Tyler's large body of work.  Signature quirky characters are present as well as a good leading female character.  Unlike her last book, A Spool of Blue Thread, I found characters to like and root for in this one.
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I love Anne Tyler! Although I admit that I haven't loved every one of her books, this one has all the elements I do love. The characters are quirky, but relatable. The plot is a bit unpredictable, yet plausible. The emotions, conversations, reactions are all so believable and engaging that I could not put the book down. If you loved Accidental Tourist or Breathing Lessons or Saint Maybe, this is the book for you.

Clock Dance is a lovely book about a woman who is struggling to cope with the ramifications of her decisions. At the same time, she's trying to reconcile her feelings about her childhood and her parents. Anne Tyler doesn't write high action or thrillers, but she...

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Anne Tyler is one of the very few authors whose works I actually buy, because I know I’ll want to read them again. Once again, the characters in Clock Dance are familiar, neither stereotyped nor archetypal but like people you know, some of whom you identify with and others who annoy you. Particularly resonant to me is Willa’s recognition that you don’t always have to have a plan, that real pleasure and contentment may come by ways unlooked for and means unseen.
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I know that Anne Tyler is greatly respected writer. I have read 2 of her previous books and started another one, so this is not the first time I have read her books. I have the same problem with every book- I just don't care. She doesn't give me characters that make me want to know what happens to them. Sorry, Ms. Tyler.
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This is the story of Willa and is told in 1967, 1977, 1997 and 2017. Willa grew up with a volatile mother and a mild laid back father. Willa’s personality mirrored that of her father as she was always placating those around her.

She was an attractive girl and met her husband soon after she started her college career. Derek was older, from a privileged background and accustomed to having whatever he wanted. So when he asked Willa to marry him and move to California with him, she reluctantly accepted. She had to quit college to marry and had two sons after abandoning her educational goals.

Derek, like her mother, had anger issues. So when he became enraged and cut off another driver on the...

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