Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

Clock Dance

Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life: when she was eleven and her mother disappeared, being proposed to at twenty-one, the accident that would make her a widow at forty-one. At each of these moments, Willa ended up on a path laid out for her by others.So when she receives a phone call telling her that her son’s ex-girlfriend has been shot and needs her help, she drops everything and flies across the country. The sp...

Details Clock Dance

TitleClock Dance
Release DateJul 12th, 2018
PublisherChatto Windus
GenreFiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary

Reviews Clock Dance

  • Angela M
    This is the Anne Tyler that I have enjoyed for so many years . I was drawn to a seemingly ordinary character I couldn’t help but root for, couldn’t help but want something more for than she has been able to manage for herself, as I was back to Tyler’s beloved Baltimore with a cast of quirky characters I fell for . Once again she illustrates that a story doesn’t have to be about anything earth shattering to the world at large to be meaning...
  • Diane S ☔
    3.5 I've read this author for years, her stories won't shake up the world nor cause any great seismic shifts in the Universe. Yet, they are so much about life, people that she treats so ternderly, with so much consideration for the unique individuals they are. Her writings, and this one is no exception, appeal because they are familiar. Her characters could be a family member, a friend, or the person one depends on when help is needed. Her unique...
  • Esil
    Anne Tyler “gets” people. Her stories are deceptively simple, but the strength of her writing is in the nuanced interactions between her characters. Clock Dance wasn’t my favourite Anne Tyler, but it still gave me the satisfaction of reading fiction written by a master. The story focuses on different slices in the life of main character Willa. We see Willa at age 11 when her mother disappears for a few days, Willa at age 21 when she brings ...
  • Bkwmlee
    This is my first time reading Anne Tyler and it certainly won’t be my last! I like this author’s style – the way she is able to take everyday, mundane events and turn them into an interesting story, yet still keep the overall tone low-key, subtle, and rooted in reality. The story is divided into 4 major segments that highlight 4 particular “defining moments” in the life of the main character Willa Drake -- starting in 1967 when she is 1...
  • Nancy
    Second chances, do-overs, reinventing oneself, rebirth, awakenings--are they wish-fulfillment fantasies? Can we change our lives? Or are we wound up by childhood experiences and genetics and parental models to whirl across the stage of a life we have no control over?This is the essence of Anne Tyler's novel Clock Dance, the story of Willa, a woman who comes at life slant, passive and bending. "From beginning to end, she thought, she'd done everyt...
  • Mary Lins
    Full disclosure: I’d call myself Anne Tyler’s “Number One Fan” if that line wasn’t so creepy (thanks a lot, Stephen King). So it’s no surprise that I adored “Clock Dance” and want everyone in the world to read it, and ALL of Tyler’s stellar oeuvre.I’m not the only fan who has called Tyler the “Jane Austen of our time”; the comparisons are obvious: beautiful writing, accessibility, colorful characters, perfectly pitched dia...
  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    4 stars - Thank you to Penguin's First to Read and Knopf for a chance to read and review this ARC. Publishes mid July 2018. Anne Tyler happens to be one of my favorite authors. She can take a can of beans and make a whole meal out of it. Very talented author who writes about the everyday, often mundane parts of every mans life. I have always found her character development to strong, her story line to practical and her voice to be magical. In thi...
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    Domestic family life in the hands of Anne Tyler is like butter, flour and sugar in the hands of Helen Goh – transformative. This is Tyler’s 22nd book and she’s still able to stop you in your tracks and get you to question life and relationships. Time slips are beautifully managed in CLOCK DANCE and Tyler’s message seems to be life is short, reinvention is part of it and family is multi-faceted and complicated. All messages I am here to re...
  • Katie B
    I really enjoyed the first 100 pages or so as the story moved from Willa as a child, later attending college, and then as a wife and mother. The story however lost me when the action moved to Baltimore with Willa flying there to take care of a little girl as her mother is in the hospital. I found most of the characters in the second half of the book annoying and because of that I couldn't really go with the whole story line from that point forwar...
  • Toni
    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 call...
  • Tyler Goodson
    Clock Dance is about time; how it moves and how it can get away from us. It’s sweet, warm, and funny, without ever sacrificing sharp writing and well-observed characters. It’s readable comfort food that reminds us it is not only possible to make a new way in life, but it’s never too late.
  • Bonnie Brody
    I have read virtually all of Anne Tyler's novels and feel somewhat disappointed with 'Clock Dance'. Her writing always excels but the characterizations in 'Clock Dance' are somewhat superficial. The second half of the novel improved a lot but I was just not captured by the story or narrative.Willa, the protagonist, grows up in Pennsylvania with a relaxed and loving father. Her mother, on the other hand, is impetuous and mercurial, often leaving t...
  • Ron Charles
    Something very strange takes place early in Anne Tyler’s new novel, “Clock Dance.” A college student named Willa is flying home with her boyfriend when suddenly the man sitting on the other side of her whispers, “This is a gun, and it’s loaded. Move and I shoot.”If former president Bill Clinton can write a thriller, why can’t Anne Tyler? Just imagine it: The Bard of Baltimore at 76 leaving behind all those quirky family meals and ta...
  • Cynthia
    Classic Anne Tyler. This is her twenty-first novel and her writing remains engaging with quietly endearing characters.
  • Susan Johnson
    Is it ever too late to live the life you always wanted to live? Willa is in the process of discovering that when she receives a strange phone call at her home in Arizona. In Baltimore, the ex-girlfriend, Denise, of her older son, has been shot in the leg. Someone is urgently needed to watch Denise's 9 year old daughter, Cheryl, while her mother is in the hospital. The neighbors mistakenlythink she is the grandmother even though they are no relati...
  • Fred
    I've enjoyed so many Anne Tyler books over the years, and this is no exception. It reminds me most of Ladder of Years, another evocatively titled story of what might be called an "untethering experience." I liked the snapshot technique of the first few chapters, where we get a feel for MC Willa, and the experiences and personalities that have shaped her and led her to the actual beginning of "the story" (which for me felt like it really started a...
  • Chrissie
    A poignant story about the constancy of life, Clock Dance was tender and thoughtful. Almost a montage of life, Clock Dance takes the reader through key points in the life of the narrator, Willa Drake, as she is veered off course by events not shaped by her. If we are all pebbles in the stream, then Willa is lightweight and easily moved or swayed by the others around her. That's not to imply she's without opinion, or thought, as following Willa's ...
  • Latkins
    This new book by Anne Tyler is a delight. It has an unusual structure - the first part takes us through three significant moments in Willa's life in ten and twenty year intervals, from when she was eleven in 1967, and her erratic mother left home; to when she twenty-one in 1977 and she flew back from college with her new boyfriend to see her parents; to when she was forty-one in 1997, and a shocking event happened.The second part is set in the pr...
  • Neanderthal
    Saguero cacti, a clock dance performed by 3 pre-teen girls, a dog named Airplane: Anne Tyler once agains finds the quality in the quotidian with the humor and insight of Willa Drake. We meet Willa as an eleven-year-old living in Lark City, PA, with her erratic, volatile mother, long-suffering father and six-year-old sister and accompany her to college, marriage, children and a life-changing mission of mercy to Baltimore.(I received pre-publicatio...
  • Kristen Beverly
    Clock Dance begins with two little girls going door to door selling chocolate bars bursting into hysterical giggles before they even had a chance to sell any. From that moment on, I was in love with this book. Willa is a strong, funny, sensitive woman and we get to see snapshots throughout her life. In 1967 as her mother disappears, in 1977 as she is proposed to, in 1997 as she becomes a widow, and in 2017 as she starts on a new journey in life. ...
  • Brian
    Anne Tyler hits the nail on the head in this family centric drama, doing what she does best by capturing every day life. The novel starts with our main character, Willa as a young girl and describes her imperfect home life. The book then jumps ahead to Willa in her early college years, then to married life and finally in her older years. Anne’s characterizations are spot on and you will enjoy the happy and sad moments of Willa’s mostly ordina...
  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    Clock Dance by Anne Tyler is a very highly recommended story about defining moments in a woman's life. I love and adore Anne Tyler's writing and Clock Dance is a wonderful addition to her oeuvre.The novel is broken into four parts, the four defining times in Willa Drake's life. In 1967, Willa is an eleven-year-old girl whose abusive, volatile, and temperamental mother has decided to leave her complaisant husband and two daughters for a brief peri...
  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    Clock Dance by Anne Tyler is a very highly recommended story about defining moments in a woman's life. I love and adore Anne Tyler's writing and Clock Dance is a wonderful addition to her oeuvre.The novel is broken into four parts, the four defining times in Willa Drake's life. In 1967, Willa is an eleven-year-old girl whose abusive, volatile, and temperamental mother has decided to leave her complaisant husband and two daughters for a brief peri...
  • Diana
    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...
  • Toni
    Thank you to Knopf Publishing and the First to Read Program for an Advanced Reading Copy. This is classic Anne Tyler and explains my love affair with her writing that began with Breathing Lessons in 1988. The Washington Post Books once stated,"the charm of an Anne Tyler novel lies in the clarity of her prose and the wisdom of her observations." She creates characters that you not only believe but believe to live on after the closing of the last ...
  • Sarah
    Oh my. I wish I had yet to finish this book as I'm not quite ready to the leave the world inhabited by Willa Drake. Clock Dance is my favorite kind of story; the sort where nothing earth-shattering happens. Instead, readers are treated to the everyday comings and goings of a rather ordinary woman, one with whom I readily identify.Broken into four parts, the novel begins in 1967 when Willa is an eleven-year-old Girl Scout timidly attempting to sel...
  • Jennifer
    The beauty in Anne Tyler novels is in her observations of humanity. She takes the ordinary and makes it beautiful, and manages to make moments that may seem mundane and turn them into something memorable and poignant. On the surface, there doesn't seem to be a lot of plot in the summary of "Clock Dance", but once you're into it a bit, Willa becomes each one of us, stuck between who she thinks she is supposed to be and who she is ultimately capabl...
  • Martha
    Full disclosure: I love anything Anne Tyler writes. She has such a deft hand with characterization and dialog, making a character real and familiar with just a few sentences. This book is no exception. As in so many of her other books, there are no earth shattering events--just a gradual process of self-knowledge, as Willa, the main character, who has spent her life trying to keep other people happy, finally takes steps towards self-determination...
  • Audrey
    Not quite a classic Anne Tyler read. Usually, I really enjoy the journey, here, it was a tad bumpier. I was surprised to see that the first half of the book was not set in Baltimore, but I enjoyed reading about Willa’s background and how it shaped her. Tyler is a master of minute observations of daily life and building her characters. She did a really great job of creating many irritating people in these pages. While I appreciated the craft, th...
  • Alicia Gebert
    I didn’t love or hate this book. It was an ordinary story with ordinary characters. I’m not certain what I was supposed to take away from this except that my hope is that Willa will live for herself instead of everyone else. I hope that she won’t be taken for granted anymore. Also, Peter is a turd.