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, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

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...
  • Larry H
    I'm around 3.5 stars.Willa has always let life happen to her.As a child in the late 1960s, her family lives at the mercy of her tempestuous mother, whose mood swings and disappearances leave everyone on edge, wondering which woman will be present each day. In the late 1970s, as she is planning a course of study in college that fascinates her, her boyfriend has other ideas, which include marriage and her moving to California with him.As a relative...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Jill
    If I had to choose an author to write my own life story, it would be Anne Tyler. She suffuses her quirky characters with so much compassion and understanding that they come alive on the page. In Clock Dance, familiar themes emerge: the woman who must leave home to find herself (Ladder of Years), the emotional distancing of children (Dinner in the Homesick Restaurant), the difference in marital styles (The Amateur Marriage). Those who love Anne Ty...
  • 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...
  • Rebecca Foster
    A few years back I read a rare interview with Anne Tyler in which she described getting together with her lady friends of a certain age to watch The Wire and experience how some other Baltimore residents live. The gangs-and-drugs world of The Wire, of course, could hardly be more different from the safe semi-suburban spaces Tyler’s characters inhabit. However, if you’ve heard one thing about Tyler’s new novel, Clock Dance, her twenty-second...
  • Charles Finch
    From USA Today****Family is the way some of us understand the world. Not the self, not society – but the little malleable confederation that lies between the two.Anne Tyler, one of this country’s great artists, has spent 50 years and more than 20 novels on the subject, her beautiful, understated, humane tales so similar in shape and voice that taken together they have come to seem like a subtle and sublime mania, the author explaining the sam...
  • Diane Barnes
    Even a middling Anne Tyler book is better than a lot of modern fiction. Compared to some of her other novels, this is not one of my favorites, mainly because I had a hard time relating to Willa, the main character. During an argument with another character, she is accused of being "so cheery and polite and genteel and superficial". Aha, I thought, my feelings exactly. She was always trying to apologize and diffuse situations. I know some women li...
  • 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...
  • ♥ 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    Anne Tyler is one of those writers whose books form her own specific genre. In simpler terms (such as she might use herself), no one else writes like her although she has plenty of imitators, and her deceptively loosely structured plotting and resolution place her in a class by herself. Her families are recognizable, but truly unique. The situations they encounter are familiar, but individual. As with each human being, she can develop a character...
  • 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...
  • Jan
    Even a lesser Anne Tyler novel is a cause for celebration. I love her unpretentious writing and her portrayals of everyday characters doing their best to muddle through. I found Clock Dance fascinating in using a very light touch to show how abuse and mental illness can ripple through a family and be dealt with in very different ways. I loved the way Tyler made me care about a whole community of characters and left so much unstated but still clea...
  • Beth Knight
    Clock Dance was more on the side of a “fluff” read but I still enjoyed it. Sometimes it’s nice to read books that are a little lighter because I do tend to read heavy, dark books. Another bonus of this book is that I was able to read it fairly quickly.
  • Marian
    "A betwitching novel of hope, self-discovery, and second chances, Clock Dance gives us Anne Tyler at the height of her powers." (From the inside jacket of the book.) When WASN'T Anne Tyler at the height of her powers? For her entire career she's been writing at the height of her powers. Delightful.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Alecia
    I would give this book 3.5/5 stars. I really enjoyed the first half of the book. The first half is comprised of three chapters taking place in 1967, 1977 and 1997. They lead up to 2017, which is the second half of the book.I really enjoyed those first three chapters. Tyler captures a young Willa Drake, navigating childhood with her mother's erratic behavior, and adoring her loving father. In 1977, Willa is a college student who finds herself enga...
  • 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...
  • Kathy
    This is classic Anne Tyler - quirky characters (I bet we all know folks just like these), slightly offbeat situations (but not so offbeat as to be unbelievable), very human emotions (all recognizable), and the chance for do-overs/reinvention of oneself (and how many times do we wish for that do-over?). She had me on page 1.
  • 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 ...