Anne Tyler is always a pleasurable read with a little underlying discomfort. In this story, a very likable woman makes some slightly wrong choices, especially in her relationships and lives a life we wish she could and would change. She sees and doesn't want to see what her life is and yet for most of the book, just doesn't seem to consider doing it differently. Strange circumstances ultimately precipitate change.
“Anne Tyler’s extraordinary ability to tell a story in the simplest language has helped her become one of our most beloved authors. In Clock Dance, she brings us Willa Drake, who has been seeking something all her life, it seems. It’s not until she’s reached middle age that she finally opens a new door in her heart and welcomes in the most unusual group of people: an entire neighborhood, ready to bring her a new perspective and an understanding of life that will change her forever. Tyler’s newest is one for book groups, one for book lovers, and one for you, too.”
— Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, WA
NATIONAL BEST SELLER • TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR FOR USA TODAY• ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: O Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Times (London)
A charming new novel of self-discovery and second chances from the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Spool of Blue Thread.
Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life. In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother's sudden disappearance. In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal. In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together. And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother but isn't sure she ever will be. Then, one day, Willa receives a startling phone call from a stranger. Without fully understanding why, she flies across the country to Baltimore to look after a young woman she's never met, her nine-year-old daughter, and their dog, Airplane. This impulsive decision will lead Willa into uncharted territory--surrounded by eccentric neighbors who treat each other like family, she finds solace and fulfillment in unexpected places. A bewitching novel of hope and transformation, Clock Dance gives us Anne Tyler at the height of her powers.
About the Author
ANNE TYLER is the author of more than twenty novels. Her eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
“Anne Tyler is one of this country’s great artists . . . She has lost none of the inspired grace of her prose, nor her sad, frank humor, nor her limitless sympathy for women who ask for little and get less . . . Beautiful, understated, humane.” —USA Today
“Tyler writes with enormous warmth about all her characters.” —Baltimore Sun
“Tyler’s stirring story celebrates the joys of self-discovery and the essential truth that family is ours to define.” —People “Anne Tyler is the most dependably rewarding novelist now at work in our country.” —Wall Street Journal
“A psychologically astute study of an intelligent, curious woman . . . A triumph.” —Boston Globe
"Feels as comforting as coming home.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Clock Dance pulls you right in and keeps on ticking . . . Tyler’s novels reassure us that the possibilities for meaningful connection—which so often seem lost in our hectic world—are still out there.” —Newsday
“A gorgeous gem of a novel about family and second chances.” —Bustle “What’s so amazing about Tyler’s novels is the way she makes ordinary people and ordinary things so fascinating . . . In Tyler’s hands, life’s mundane activities feel vital . . . Revelatory . . . Unwrapping the story is a delight.” —Chicago Tribune
“Full of wisdom about relationships, delivered in gorgeous language and with considerable charm.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“She is one of our greatest living fiction writers and if I were in charge, she’d have a Nobel by now.” —The Observer (UK) “Clock Dance is Anne Tyler at her best . . . An entertaining, heartwarming story about second chances and the real meaning of family . . . Full of the sorts of eccentric yet totally believable characters that Anne Tyler is a genius at creating . . . Captivating . . . A delight.” —Greensboro News & Record (NC)
“If you want to understand the everyday life of Americans, read Anne Tyler . . . There is no one better at taking the ordinary person—the one we don’t even notice in the supermarket queue—and showing us what lies beneath . . . Clock Dance is a marvelous frog-leap of a book . . . Sequel please!” —The Times (UK)
“A joy to read . . . These characters come to life off the page.” —Baltimore Magazine “Anne Tyler's Baltimore has become a sort of urban Yoknapatawpha.” —Charles McGrath, New York Times
“If Anne Tyler isn’t the best writer in the world, who is?" —Jane Garvey, Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 4
“Tenderly devastating . . . Affecting . . . A quiet but sharply feminist statement.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Anne Tyler is one of America’s very best living novelists and one of the world’s most loved . . . Her stories about family life—beautifully written, forensically insightful, sometimes laugh out loud funny—are cherished by all ages . . . She sheds light on the secret bits of yourself, the parts no one knows about, and her skill is writing compassionately about our so-called ordinary lives with an apparent effortlessness that conceals great art.” —The Times Magazine (UK)
“In Tyler’s effortless, uncluttered prose, the novel beautifully explores an older woman’s search for meaning and agency in her life.”—Christian Science Monitor
“Clock Dance, rife with the hurts and joys of living, is far more than merely very good . . . For readers Anne Tyler is a life force; for writers she is simply the best.” —Irish Times
“A smart, touching exploration of altruism and the nature of a meaningful life.”—Daily Mail (UK)
“Stellar . . . A bittersweet, hope-filled look at two quirky families that have broken apart and are trying to find their way back to one another.” —Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed)
“Brilliant, charming, and book-club-ready . . . Tyler’s bedazzling yet fathoms-deep feel-good novel is wrought with nimble humor, intricate understanding of emotions and family, place and community—and bounteous pleasure in quirkiness, discovery, and renewal.” —Booklist (starred)
“Clock Dance brims with the qualities that have brought Tyler legions of fans and high critical acclaim. Characters pulse with lifelikeness. The tone flickers between humorous relish and sardonic shrewdness. Dialogue crackles with authenticity . . . Warmly appealing.” —The Sunday Times (UK)
“Tyler does not disappoint. Her characters are distinctly drawn and their stories layered . . . The result is a compelling look at the need for relevance, being offered a second chance, and deciding whether to take it. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal, (starred)
“Written with brilliantly deceptive ease . . . So absorbing . . . Tyler’s Baltimore is universal, like Trollope’s Barchester, or Flaubert’s Normandy . . . Even though she performs narrative cartwheels that would lead other novelists to be praised as experimental, she does it with such ease that it seems closer to life than to art.” —The Mail on Sunday (UK) “Tyler’s characteristic warmth and affection for her characters are engaging as ever.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Tyler’s novels are as generous as they are perceptive . . . She has a keen eye and an alert ear, sympathy for her characters, an awareness of both life’s comedy and its tragedy.”—The Scotsman
“Perfectly executed . . . Precise, unpretentious, and centred on credible characters to whom Tyler never condescends.” —The Spectator (UK) “Beautifully observed . . . Anne Tyler is renowned for her wry humour, great ear for dialogue, and microscopic observations of human interactions. Clock Dance is no exception.” —Sunday Express (UK)