August 08

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler and I started off as friends with A Spool of Blue Thread.  Then, sadly, we weren’t friends any longer because of Vinegar Girl, BUT – hold the phone Joan –  I am happy to report our friendship is restored courtesy of Tyler’s latest, Clock Dance.

This one I loved and read it in what felt like a nano-second.

It’s the story of Willa Drake who faces a series of shocking cross roads in her life.  At eleven, her mother disappears. Hesitantly she marries at 21, is widowed at 41 and sets about raising her sons before remarrying a very safe, conservative man.

At each junction, what she wants is decided by others.

Until…one morning she receives a phone call telling her her son’s partner has been shot and Willa is needed to care for his child.  With that,  she immediately flies to the other side of the country to step in – which is not unusual for a grandmother and mother to do, right?

Except her son doesn’t have a child and he is most certainly not with the child’s mother who Willa has never met.

What led her to make this choice, to leave and to help is a culmination of everything that had happened to Willa throughout her whole life.  And it is what quietly forces her down an unknown path.

In doing so, Willa is plunged into a strange new world and an alien life she finds strangely compelling. She finds herself fitting in more with this ramshackle world than her own neatly manicured version and bingo, Willa finds herself facing yet another dramatic cross road.  (And spoiler alert – the husband is not happy about any of it which made my very happy indeed).

So while the story centres on those momentous times in life – the disruptive,  strange,  sad and shocking, it is woven together with the smallest, yet most significant occasions and interactions that happen in between –  and where happiness is most often found.

I certainly found happiness between the pages. I think you will too.

But that is just my 2 cents worth.