Book Review :: Clock Dance

Ann Tyler Clock Dance

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

Fans of Anne Tyler will recognize all the things they love about her in Tyler’s latest novel, Clock Dance: quirky – but very real – characters, a seemingly ordinary story that is anything but and sometimes poignant and sometimes laugh-out-loud (often both!) insight into what makes us human.

Clock Dance is Willa’s story. It begins with a couple of chapters of back story but the majority is Willa, middle-aged. She’s a women that, despite a sister, two husbands (one died – not talking polygamy) and two sons, is without a family. And for her, that feels like a lack of purpose. (“She was the only women she knew whose prime objective was to be taken for granted.“)

When she accepts a random call and is asked to come care for the young daughter of her oldest son’s former girlfriend who has been hurt in a bizarre accident, Willa jumps at the chance to be needed.

What she walks into is a less-than-desirable neighborhood in Baltimore and a cast of characters who, while it may sound trite, show her that sometimes the best families are the ones we choose rather than the ones we’re given.

I think Tyler is a master at telling the truth in simple but unique ways. For example, “Marriage was often a matter of dexterity.” I speak for all married women when I give this an AMEN.

Reading Clock Dance will provide you with many more examples of true insights into the human experience while being thoroughly entertained.


I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book by Penguin Random House’s First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. To learn more, go to



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