Reader reviews and comments on Clock Dance, plus links to write your own review.

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Clock Dance

A Novel

by Anne Tyler

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler X
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2018, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2019, 304 pages

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Nancy Emery, retired librarian Sturgeon Bay WI

the Clock Dance
Ann Tyler does it again...another engrossing read that is over all too soon. Basically it is the story of Willa starting out in 1967and progresses through her life in ten and twenty year increments. I found myself relating to her in all the Phases of her life. Her life takes unexpected turns that keep the story moving.
Bettie T. (Johns Island, SC)

A Woman on Her Way
Keeping in mind that truth is often far stranger than fiction, one has to put aside the main premise of the story, take that leap of faith, and dig into the wonderfully human characters and details that make up Clock Dance. Our main character, Willa, might be perceived by those who don't know her well (including her family) as a weak person, but she is actually very generous and comes to know her strength through the novel. I found her an easy character with which to identify. I think book clubs will find several themes that can be discussed, including the ways in which women's ways are often different from men's.
Chris, Wisconsin

Vintage Anne Tyler
Like the other books by Anne Tyler that I've read, Clock Dance is a story about ordinary people living mostly very ordinary lives, but told in a way that makes them interesting enough for the reader to keep turning pages and then not wanting the book to end. I enjoyed Willa's story very much, and have spent quite a bit of time since finishing it, wondering what the next chapter of her life would hold.
Lori (Puyallup, WA)

Anne Tyler is a joy to read
I have enjoyed Anne Tyler's writing for many years now and was excited to read Clock Dance. It did not disappoint and exceeded my expectations. The story wound its way gently over the hills and valleys of the character's ordinary but unique situations. A wonderful selection for a book club. Thank you Book Browse for this exceptional book!
Marie De

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
As I read Clock Dance by Anne Tyler, I had the uncomfortable sense of having no idea where the story was going. The story relates events in “chunks” of Willa’s life, starting with her childhood. Her father is totally amiable and placid while her mother is “high strung” and leaves the family for long periods of time during which Willa plays mother to her younger sister. The story skips ahead to her first marriage and then to her second. In the final and longest segment, she is summoned to the aid of her son’s ex-girlfriend who has been shot in the leg. Willa cares for her and her daughter as she recuperates. Even in this segment, I was getting impatient for something definitive to happen. Willa seems to live slightly removed from herself. She is pleasant, kind, and seemingly unflappable. She skims along the surface of life pleasantly, just as the story seems to stay on the surface of the character. And that is the point, the genius of Anne Tyler. She doesn’t explain, she shows.
This is a book you will think about and want to discuss long after you close the covers.
Mary M. (Lexington, KY)

Quiet
In Clock Dance we first meet the main character Willa when she is a child and follow her through significant events in her life. We quickly see that Willa is living her life doing what others want. That is until she receives a phone call from a stranger asking her to come across the country to care for a child she has never met. In a surprise to everyone she goes and the experience changes her life.

I titled this review quiet because the book is a quiet study of Willa's life. I am a fan of Anne Tyler. I haven't read a book by her that I didn't like. She has the ability to take ordinary characters in ordinary situations and make them interesting. She goes about it in a quiet way. There is nothing flashy in her writing. She writes quiet stories that leave a lasting impression.
Jean N. (New Richmond, OH)

Captivating
I am fascinated and totally entertained by Anne Tyler's writing, and this book was no exception. Anne takes mostly everyday situations, mixes in diverse, often
eccentric characters, and writes quiet stories that draw me right in every time!
Willa's story is told in decades. She lived her life pleasing others. By the end of the book Willa was able to take stock of her life and decide what road she really wanted to be on, and who were the people that she wanted in her life.
Clock Dance was another winner in a very long list of Anne Tyler novels that I have read. She is right up there at the top of the list of "My Favorite Authors".
Julia E. (Atlanta, GA)

Clock Dance Whirls Gracefully
A beautifully written, largely Baltimore-based, novel by Anne Tyler. After decades of passively accepting what life puts in front of her, the 60ish central character blossoms forth when she finds herself embraced by a community that truly needs and values her. A warm, insightful book that underscores the importance of community--and of the sidewalks that bind its disparate characters together. A most welcome addition to the Anne Tyler cannon.

Beyond the Book:
  Baltimore's Storied Past

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