Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

Clock Dance

Anne Tyler

Willa Drake impulsively flies across the country to look after a young woman she's never met. A bewitching novel of hope, self-discovery, and second chances, Clock Dance gives us Anne Tyler at the height of her powers.

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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.

Advance Galley Reviews

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler is an addition to the books about men and women of a certain age who, triggered by a moment, change their lives. Most of the books rely on creating sympathetic and endearing characters. If we, as readers, fall in love with the character, we invest in the story. If we don't, we read it and move on. This is one in which I am amused by the characters but find myself somewhat unmoved by Willa's story. Read my complete story at Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

3/5 stars. This was a cute, easy read but there was not much action. Read my full review at:

5 stars. Anne Tyler's novels always have a way of enveloping me. She never changes her style and still they are always satisfying to read. She has prose and writing warm and full of grace. Clock Dance follows Willa Drake from her childhood, her adulthood, her widowhood. And then Clock dance hits its center. Willa gets a phone call telling her that her son Sean's ex-girlfriend has been shot and no one to take care of her daughter, Willa decides to go. Her second husband, Peter, though dismayed by this decision accompanies her. For the first time in her life, Willa has made a decision without any influence from outside. Willa while taking care of two people whom she hardly knows revisits her life, and the people in it, and the love between them. Only Anne Tyler can write this beautiful story and so simple yet so natural. Happy Reading

First I must thank you for giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy here. This was even more exciting for me as it is my first Annie Tyler. I have enjoyed the story of a woman who went from being a young rebellious girl to a compassionate and self aware woman. With her husbands she behaved meekly all th while, giving in every time they dictated. personally it is tough for me to deal with. But the story progresses interestingly. It has intrigued me enough to want to read other Tyler novels.

Anne Tyler is a gifted storyteller and this novel soars. We follow Willa Drake through the years of her tumultuous life as she seeks to make sense of a world that continues to throw curveballs at her. Willa is enjoyable to follow and Tyler write all her characters with such human foibles that I'd love to live in this world just for a day. Definitely a 4 star read.

As usual a poignant, lovely look at the life of a strong woman who needs to learn she is strong from Anne Tyler. One of my favorite authors. This novel did leave me with many questions; some food for thought, but a few were just troubling as it felt the novel was incomplete. The main character’s sister seemed to be a main character too but she simply disappeared with passing mentions. I did like the structure of the novel. Jumping through time is difficult to write so I appreciate the ability. I recommend this novel.

Thank you First To Read for giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Clock Dance by Anne Tyler. Willa Drake has had a hard life, from dealing with her mother’s disappearance, not having a solid relationship with her sister, giving up her college education to marry her college sweetheart only to become a widow with two sons and then remarrying and moving away from what she calls home. All Willa wants is to be accepted by her family and she wants her children to settle down to give her the grandchildren she wants. Willa gets a call that her sons ex girlfriend has been shot and she needs some help with daughter. Willa goes and helps them and while doing this figures out who she wants to be not what everyone expects of her while spending time apart from her husband.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to get an advanced copy of this book. Ms. Tyler is a beautiful writer and I have followed her work for many years. I expect my book club will be reading this in the next few years. This book takes the unique perspective of following Willa through key moments in her life, moments of joy and sadness. She is a woman in search of her life. I love the emotional resonance in this beautiful story.

Willa Drake frustrated me. I wanted to yell at her. I wanted to yell that she needed to stand up for herself. I wanted to yell that she deserved to be treated better. I didn't like Willa Drake and it's when you feel this strongly about a character that you are reminded what a great author Anne Tyler is. I couldn't put down Tyler's latest, Clock Dance. Willa wasn't the only frustrating character. I realized that one of the reasons I was so frustrated by them--and there were plenty to be irked by in this book--was because I know people just like them. Tyler writes real people. Her characters are people I've known, people similar to those in my own life. Relatable and real is what makes Tyler's books so appealing. Characters don't have to be charming to make for a great story. The frustration I felt made me invest in Willa's decisions, made me hope that she would make better choices for herself, that she might finally find happiness. Willa suffered abuse and loss throughout her life, taking it all passively. We are shown snapshots throughout Willa's life, each capturing telling events that illuminate why Willa is who she is. Finally, after seeing Willa in 1967, 1977, and 1997, we are taken to 2017 where Willa makes a decision to fly across the country to take care of a mother and her little girl who Willa doesn't even know. To most, if not all readers, this idea is a crazy one. But it also allows the reader to begin to grasp that meek and resigned Willa has been habitually desperate her whole life. Desperate for true connection and acceptance. Up until the final paragraph, I wasn't sure Tyler was going to give Willa the ending that she deserved. Although an abrupt conclusion (I would have loved another chapter or two), all of my frustration receded knowing that maybe there was hope for Willa after all. This was my second Anne Tyler novel (the first reviewed here) and I can't wait to read more by her. I love how easy her novels are to read, how invested I become in not the story but in the characters. Typically when I can't put down a book it is because I want to know what happens next in the story. But with Tyler's novels, it is because I want to know what happens next to the characters.

Thank you for sending me an advanced copy of Clock Dance! I was really enjoying the beginning of the story. Unfortunately, the file had an error and ceased being able to open on my Digital Editions app so I was unable to finish. The beginning has piqued my interested but I would love a new download link so I can complete my review!

I've been a fan of Anne Tyler's for many years. "Clock Dance" introduces the reader to wonderfully quirky characters as they discover the many dimensions of being part of an extended family. Willa, the main character, is seen at key points throughout her life, in 1967, 1977, 1997 and 2017. Although she suffers significant losses, this novel pays more attention to what Willa ultimately gains. I enjoyed the novel, but confess that it did not live up to the high standards of Anne Tyler's earlier works. Still, I'm grateful to Penguin's First To Read program for enabling me to read an ARC.

Having never read an Anne Tyler book before, I went into this story with no expectations. The synopsis sounded intriguing, and it ended up being even more enjoyable than I had anticipated. At first, I thought the book was a bit slow, with all the background information set in the past. Then I realized that this is more a character-driven than plot-driven story. I adore stories that delve deep into a character and the characters that surround them. I enjoyed watching time pass, and how Willa acted in each stage of her life. Even without being plot-driven, the plot of the main part of the story (the 1997 and 2017 chapters) was so engaging. I would have read hundreds of more pages of the interactions with the Baltimore neighbors Willa encounters. Each one was so distinct and perfectly described. I am so glad this book caught my attention because I loved he style of writing and now have a new author to add to my TBR. Thank you to Penguin First to Read for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

This book started out with so much promise. Anne Tyler's books leave me wondering, in a good way. Typically, when finish one of her books, I feel like I have read one of the greatest books ever. I did not feel that with the Clock Dance. So much promise, but it felt like rushed. I felt a connection to the Wills up until she went to Baltimore. After that, it felt like someone else was writing the book. Not Anne's best work.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. This is a good book by Anne Tyler about a woman who seems to not really know what she wants to do with her life. This is broken up into several parts, each a significant part in her life. You learn about when she gets engaged, when her husband dies, and when she seems to come into her own. This was a quick read and I enjoyed it. This was a great summer read.

Admittedly, there were things I really liked about the first section of the book, and things I really did not like...I just was struggling to get into it, and struggling to find Willa relatable. I almost put down the book a few times, and I'm happy I pushed through. Once we were in "current time", the importance of knowing her back story was clear, but watching her grow, watching her take to Cheryl, etc., was really interesting. This was my first Anne Tyler. Looking forward to reading more of her previous works now that I've read this.

I have loved Anne Tyler's books through the years, but I did not get this one at all. Willa is such a passive person, she just lets everyone else make her decisions for her. She doesn't seem to care what these choices are or who makes them. She marries 2 different guys (both of whom I disliked) but seems content with each one. She seems like someone from a different century or at least decade, but she's actually younger than I am. Why would she want to change her life? I would certainly want to change her life, but I couldn't see why she would.

If you want a quick, heartfelt read for the summer, then grab this book.  It is a wonderful coming of age story that follows the main character, Willa, at age 11, 21, 41, and 61.  This book is about what it means to be apart of a family even if you are not related to them.  Willa's life at these ages encounters a life changing moment. I was so interested in where her life was headed especially at 61. A great story about how you can be needed at any age.

Interesting and inspiring story of a woman's life as told over four defining moments. Anne Tyler masterfully describes four turning points in this woman's life and the characters throughout the four parts are all interesting and fully developed. The story is full of little surprises and twists and turns, just like life. I didn't totally love how the story ended but that is probably because I didn't want it to end!

5 stars 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 period of time, again. In 1977, she is a college coed whose boyfriend Derek wants to marry her and is meeting her parents for the first time. In 1997, she is forty-one, has two sons, and is newly widowed. And in 2017, she is married to Peter, a golf widow living in Arizona, and yearns to be a grandmother. Clearly, Willa has chosen to follow her father's example and she is an appeaser in relationships, always catering to the whims of others and trying to please them. In 2017 Willa receives phone call from a neighbor to her son's former girlfriend, Denise. The neighbor tells Willa that Denise has been shot in the leg and her nine-year-old daughter, Cheryl, and dog, Airplane, needs someone else to stay with them. The neighbor got Willa's phone number from Denise's home, and called her assuming she is Cheryl's grandmother. Willa, always helpful, agrees to fly out to stay with Cheryl in the blue-collar Baltimore neighborhood, and Peter begrudgingly makes plans for them both to go. As expected the writing is simply extraordinary. Tyler does an excellent job taking ordinary, average people and portraying them in totality, good and bad, strengths and flaws. Willa is a wonderful, fully realized character. I understood and empathized with her. Time does seem to dance by and as you look back on your life, there are defining moments along the way, but it is never to late to make a change. Tyler's novels and the characters she creates to inhabit them are always quietly phenomenal. They unassumingly live in the real world, face real situations, and do their best based on the circumstances. This is a novel about family, keeping your own council, second chances, self-discovery, and, ultimately, hope. I absolutely love Clock Dance. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House as part of the First to Read program. (It might have been nice to have the digital copy for my kindle approved via Edelweiss or Netgalley as the First to Read copy is more difficult for me to read on my tablet.)

4 stars 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 11 years old, we get a glimpse of what her childhood was like and how her family environment helped shape the kind of person she would become; then the story jumps to 1977, when Willa is in college and faces a major life decision in the form of a marriage proposal; then it jumps to 20 years later, in 1997, when Willa is faced with yet another life-changing event, widowhood at the young age of 41 and having to figure out how to move forward with her 2 teenage sons; and finally, 2017 when Willa is 61 years old, remarried (to a man whose personality is similar to her first husband in so many ways), retired and contemplating her lot in life when she gets a phone call about her son’s ex-girlfriend and impulsively flies to Baltimore. Through these vignette-like “observations” into her life at various stages, we get to know Willa on a deeper level and by the end of the book, she has become like a dear friend whom we just finished spending quality time with. Granted, I didn’t always agree with Willa’s decisions and honestly, at times her passiveness and tolerance for things she shouldn’t have tolerated really frustrated me, but I still liked her as a character and enjoyed being in her company, even if only for a few days. The character development is definitely well-done in here, and not just with Willa but also with the other characters, even some of the ones who only make a brief appearance. I enjoy reading about characters that are relatable, which many times means that they also have to be realistic and yes, sometimes even “ordinary,” – a character that may not necessarily have much excitement going on in their lives, but yet encounter interesting enough moments where a story like this never once comes across as boring. As other reviewers have said, the story here is simple as well as subtle and not much goes on outside of normal, everyday stuff, yet at no point did I feel the story drag. In the beginning, when I found out this would be a “slice of life” type of story, I was a little worried, as I usually don’t take to these types of stories too well – I prefer a continuous story where I am able to see the main character’s growth and gradual development. This book was very different from other “slice of life” books I’ve read in that this one went deeper in terms of characterization as well as emotional depth and to me at least, the transitions from one time period to another were seamless. I’ve heard that Anne Tyler is a masterful writer and I can definitely see why. I’m sure that the next time I am in the mood for a quiet, yet meaningful read with characters that are relatable and easy to connect with, I will be picking up one of Tyler’s other novels to enjoy! Received ARC from Knopf Publishing via Penguin First to Read program.

Clock Dance is classic Anne Tyler and that's a good thing. I loved this story about a woman who feels adrift and disconnected most of her life, but eventually makes her own decisions. I felt a little lukewarm about Willa through her college days, and her marriage to Derek. Willa grew so much through her relationship with Cheryl and Denise and I was disappointed to see her go back to Peter. At the end of the book, I was repeated "turn around" in my head and I am so glad that the book ended the way it did. This is a just a great book about creating family and reinventing one's life.

The interesting thing about reading books and then reviewing them is that you need to figure out why you like it (or not) and then explain it. In my first year art history class, we went to the university's art gallery. The professor said for us to look at the painting, and ask ourselves the question, do I like it or not? Not is it good or bad or whatever. And then you ask why. No answer is wrong because its what your thoughts are on the painting. I try to apply the same process to books, but it's not that simple. Or, I am making it more difficult than it is (which is true to form for me). One of the things that I am starting to appreciate having read books to review is that the simpler the story and characters, the better. Not saying that the book needs to be simple, but less is more to a certain extent. There doesn't need to be a million characters or tons of action for the story to be interesting and moving. This 'simplicity' is the case in this book. The story follows Willa Drake and the highs and lows of her life. But what the story is really about is the moments that define us - ok, that define Willa. And how those moments lead us to make decisions today. This book is almost in two parts - the first half follows Willa and checks in on her almost every 10 years starting in 1967. The second half is set in 'present day' when she goes to take care of her son's ex-girlfriend's daughter for a short period of time. Without the first part, you don't really get why she makes the decisions she does. Although the premise is simple, the message and the undercurrents of the novel run deep. This is about family - the ones that you are physically related to and the ones we choose to be our family. It's about community - what does being part of a community mean. And ultimately it's about making choices, and sometimes you need to make the difficult choice to be happy. I want to say this is a really nice book, but that sounds condescending. It's a good book. It's an endearing book. It's one that you can take as much or as little as you like from it. I gave it a 4/5 star rating on Goodreads. Full disclosure: I received this eARC from First to Read for a fair and honest review. Thanks to First to Read and Penguin Random House! (*This will be posted 'live' closer to the publication date of July 10)

I’m not sure I’m too in love with this book. The writing was enjoyable but the first half of the book takes place over 30 years (basically one chapter equals a ten year span) and the second half of the book takes place in a few weeks. The protagonist, Willa , wasn’t that compelling of a character and perhaps that’s the point of the story. It could be anyone. The action in the book is either mundane or so fantastic as to be unbelievable. If you’re a fan of Ann Tyler you’ll probably love this book. For me it was just ok. I was given an ARC by Penguins First To Read program.

I am so glad I received an ARC for this book and this includes my opinion after reading. It is a very thought provoking book starting with a young woman's childhood selling candy bars for a school fundraiser and ending with a second chance at life in her adulthood. Like all of us she needs to feel needed and useful and finds it through an unexpected source. I would recommend it to book clubs. I am not sure we would all agree with her choices, but we can understand her situation.

This is the third book that I read by this author, and all her books seem to be the same general way. Normally you are following a female character, or two, throughout their daily life. This book follows a woman named Willa throughout her life, starting from her childhood to her later years. It evaluates the family dynamic, first from her life with a mother that had something that appeared to be bipolar disorder and her father who kept picking up the pieces. Then it followed her through a first marriage and then a second marriage. Finally, she takes an unexpected "volunteer" position, helping take care of her son's ex girlfriend and her daughter. All the while it's like she's living through a clock dance of sorts. This book is a nice easy read. The advanced ARC was given to me by First to Read for my honest review.

CLOCK DANCE was my first introduction to Anne Tyler and unfortunately, it didn't leave much of an impression. Growing up in a dysfunctional home, the details were sketchy and left a lot of unanswered questions.Willa, the main character, marries young and starts a family, putting her own wants/desires on hold. Two marriages to men who are selfish, domineering and controlling, Willa continues to placate and focus her life on others. It takes almost the entire novel before she questions if she's really leading the life she wants to live. I definitely found Willa's character more annoying than relatable...

Thank you First To Read and Penguin Random House. I love Anne Tyler books although I haven’t read them all. She has a way of making me love love her characters - which in turn makes me care what happens to them. I really felt this message - a woman who spends her life doing for others while neglecting herself AND FINALLY she decides to do what makes her happy even if it isn’t comfortable or expected. I really recommend Cloud Dance.

I didn't really get it. I wanted to like this book, but Willa kept not making good choices, not standing up for herself and really wasn't particularly likable. The book left me with a lot of questions. Where did her mom go? Did the man have a gun? Why did she marry Derek? Why was she so content to be powerless even though she was competent? Clock Dance isn't a bad read. But just like Anne Tyler's Blue Thread book it doesn't really go anywhere. It just tells the story. No resolution. Clock Dance is sad for no reason. Then just kind of stops. Anne Tyler is such a skilled author but I really wish she'd write something happy. Or at least something with an ending.

Anne Tyler was a new author to me and I enjoyed reading Clock Dance. This is the story of Willa, a married woman with grown children. She receives a call from the neighbor of her son's former girlfriend thinking that Willa is the grandmother of the ex's child. Knowing that the child needs immediate care, Willa flies across the country to stay with the child while the mother recovers in the hospital. Days become weeks. Willa's husband doesn't understand the need to stay. Willa learns that she is needed and she builds a relationship with a woman she'd never previously gotten to know and she grows to love the child. Clock Dance is a book about relationships, marriage, and learning to know one's own worth.

I like none of the characters in this book. Wait, I take that back. The inquisitive nine year old Cheryl was okay. This is the story of a woman, an intelligent woman, who knew five languages and still let herself be bullied all her life. A woman who just wanted to be wanted. I read this whole book and I can think of only two words. Sad and why? I do have to say thanks to the author for saving us and skipping over the Derek years. Thanks to First to Read and Penguin for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Clock Dance is the story of a woman, Willa, who thinks she is happy with her life until she receives a phone call from a complete stranger that leads her to an impulsive decision. She flies across the country to take care of an injured woman and her daughter; their only connection being that her son had once dated the injured woman. Willa feels like she is needed once again and that she can find happiness in unexpected places. This was an enjoyable read and the ending made me feel happy for Willa and has me wondering what she will do next. I loved the realness of the characters. If I knew them , I feel like we could be friends!

This was my first time reading Anne Tyler, and Clock Dance felt like a good introduction to her writing. This was a story that meandered engagingly through the decades of a woman's life from childhood through her early sixties. She'd done the expected things and played the traditional roles of daughter, sister, college dropout to become a wife, mother, widow, and remarried woman. After all that, more than anything what she still craved was purpose and to be needed, loved, and appreciated. When she enters a situation where those possibilities exist, she decides to seize the opportunity and 'bloom where she's planted.' This is how the book The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky shows up in the hands of a skilled, seasoned writer. Though they cover the same topic and time span, Clock Dance is a graceful storytelling. Tyler weaves for us Willa's life story, from the horrors of being raised with a mentally ill mother, through the desperation of the bereavement of spousal death and estrangement from one's grown children.Throughout all, she manages to splice in the tiny bits of humor life sometimes throws at us in spite of ourselves, and to flesh out for us the colorful secondary characters surrounding Willa. And in the end, unlike The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky, living an unfulfilled life is not the be all and end all for Willa, who takes up the reins and chooses a life where she matters to those around her. I'd recommend this, and will go back and read more of Tyler's earlier works. Thanks, First to Read.

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.

Admittedly, Anne Tyler is one of my favorite authors, so I was excited to get to read an ARC of her newest work via Penguin’s First to Read program. I was not disappointed. Clock Dance is now one of my favorite novels. I cheered for the protagonist, Willa, as she grew and found herself in this story. Outstanding writing and a great story line. Highly recommended.

Anne Tyler s one of my go-to authors when I need a little mood elevating. In Clock Dance, she once again creates a likeable heroine at a cross-road in her life and surrounds her with a quirky, endearing cast of characters to help navigate her path. Willa is like many women -she's dedicated her life to being the supportive daughter, sister, wife and mother, always trying to avoid conflict and keep everyone else happy. She feels empty and unfulfilled, but an unlikely set of circumstances presents her with the opportunity to change her life. A consistent theme of Anne Tyler's novels is just that - we can change the course of our lives at any point and at any age. Clock Dance remains true to Anne Tyler's style and message, and her readers will not be disappointed in that sense.

Willa may not be the most exciting person, but she has enough character to hold readers in. As we see throughout Willa throughout her life, we can see how she is consistent but also how she has the strength to break from that later in her life. I could see where the story was going, but I wanted to be along for the ride anyway.

Anne Tyler never disappoints. Her quirky family sagas, in this case, eventually set in Baltimore, draws the reader in at the very beginning. Tyler’s ability to paint family relationships so clearly is evident in this novel as well as all her others. Willa’s story of self-discovery is timeless.

Anne Tyler is the queen of the familial drama and with Clock Dance she proves she is keeping up with the millennials and their new definition of family: Family = your friends, neighbors and whomever else you choose, your blood relatives merely exist on the border. As always Tyler’s prose is far from flashy, refreshingly straight forward and graceful. She provides an insular world for her characters to exist, shielding them from judgement, appreciating the good in each of them, even the most derelict. Willa Drake is a wonderful middle-aged woman on the edge of being “old”. Her story of finding a new beginning at an advanced stage of life is tinged with loneliness and longing as she gradually extracates herself from the life she imagined she would live out her days in. The Baltimore neighborhood this story is set in plays a pivotal role in the story as do it’s many residents, making for a charming and delightful tale of friendship and acceptance. Very sweet and highly recommended summer reading. Thank you Penguin Random House for the digital ARC in exchange for a candid review.

Anne Tyler never disappoints. Once again she takes the reader right into the heart of the main character, with all the quirks, strengths, weaknesses and dreams that make that character come alive. The storyline flows easily, and the passage of time is not confusing to the reader. Bravo Anne, and thank you Penguin Publishing, for this wonderful read.

I enjoyed how the author gave snippets of Willa’s earlier days, without feeling the need to switch back and forth throughout the book; Willa’s past was presented to give enough of a backstory and that was enough. I absolutely adored Cheryl. I think her spunk and independence served as a great catalyst to Willa’s awakening. The cast of characters in Denise’s neighborhood were charming—I felt like I was part of the neighborhood! I would love to see a sequel with them all in it again. It wasn’t until the scene with the “clock dance” that I realized the underlying theme of time throughout the book and how it affected Willa’s development. Well done!

5 stars - fans of Anne Tyler will not be disappointed. The book follows Willa as schoolgirl, a college coed, a young widow and then focuses on her as a retired 61 year old. At first I was surprised that the majority of the book focused on this later time period but was quickly immersed. Willa wants a purpose in her life and to feel like she is making a difference. This is something I think readers of all ages will find relatable. This book is a must read.

I really liked this book. Willa has two sons that have their own lives and doesn't always include her. When she gets a call regarding a little girl needing care, she becomes involved and learns from it. There is a lot of emotion in this book and big personalities. I loved the character development and was drawn to the characters I met throughout the book. I have never before read a book by Anne Tyler, but will definitely be reading more from her. Thanks for the ARC, First to Read.

No one can write about family as well as AnnTyler can. Her characters are quirky, and real, and lovable all at once. The situations they find themselves in, no matter how different from my own life, always seem to apply perfectly. Clock Dance made me reread passages and phrases in pure enjoyment, as I laughed or shuddered alternately. Willa Drake is brought to us as the central heroine from elementary school to a bit past my own age now. We read about her life, gaining an understanding of her thoughts as a child, sister, daughter, wife and mother. I adore her. I adored this book.

This was my first Anne Tyler book and I was really looking forward to finally jumping in. The main character, Willa, was likeable, but her main life events were treated a little casually considering their seriousness. I didn't feel Tyler provided enough insight into what drove Willa to her second marriage or why she was so disconnected from her sons. It just made me feel sorry for her. I stayed with it to see how it would end. I enjoyed the story, but not enough to add any of her other books to my TBR list just yet.

Anne Tyler has long been one of my favorite authors. This, like her others, is a novel about the life of a believable character who lives her life in a reverse beat-the-clock manner. The biological clock ticks as Willa walks to its beat, eventually recognizes herself as the creator of her own dream, and chooses her own destiny. This is a coming of age story of a middle aged woman. Thanks, Anne Tyler, for another good read.

Anne Tyler is an inspired author. Only she could have me read an entire book in which the main character was so far removed from me and my life experience that I wanted to smack some sense into her. My fristration with Willa started in the recounting of her life in 1977 when as a college coed she undervalues herself enough to marry a bullying, patronizing jerk. Her choices continued to confound and frustrate me until the chapters in the section depicting 2017. Will a "comes of age" at 61 as she evaluates her life's choices and makes some surprising decisions.

Anne Tyler can take the life of a boring woman and make it a book. I read this entire book despite not being particularly relatable to me in anyway. I’ve read many of Anne’s books, and I’ve really enjoyed either the Characters, the stories or both. In Clock Dance I wasn’t relating much with either, but I don’t think I’m the correct demographic for it. I read it rather quickly, but keep waiting for something exciting to happen. I don’t think this was a bad book, or even a poor read, it’s just for my limited reading hours I want something more. Great book for a retired woman with ungrateful kids. That’s who I’d recommend the book to.

Another beautiful Anne Tyler novel another book to add to her 5 star pile ,Fabs of Anne Tyler’s will love this book& new readers will become immediate fans.

Great story of family dynamics, relationships, self sacrifice. Willa's metamorphosis was a pleasure to witness. Finally she discovered her wants and needs mattered. No doubt many women out there will understand Willa's ultimate decision, a woman who gave finally realizing taking and receiving is equally important, thanklessness is no longer an option, appreciation is the norm. Selfish men surrounded this quiet soul, pangs of empathy poured out of my heart. One enjoyable read, inspiring to boot.

Another beautiful story from Anne Tyler. Every two years I wait for another story about an unusual female heroine changing lives in Baltimore and every two years Anne Tyler comes through. If you are a fan of Tyler's you will love this book. It's that simple

Thank you to First to Read for ARC of Anne Tyler’s “Clock Dance” Like many readers, I am an Anne Tyler fan. She never disappoints. Loved the characters, plot , and Baltimore! Another great read and to my friend Willa...Lose Peter!!

CLOCK DANCE introduces us to Willa, the baby boomer protagonist of this tale, at ten-year intervals, as she sells fundraising candy door-to-door, attends college and gets engaged, and then a bit later as a mother with teen-aged sons of her own. At each point, Willa is both present and unavailable; she has chosen to be as regular and boring as possible as her life’s focus. She’s decided that is the best she can offer to her loved ones, since she did not receive that stalwart love herself. It is a kind of loving denial and will exact an emotional price, eventually. As readers we wonder when that bill will arrive and how it will be reconciled. As with everything Willa does, the action will be delicate. Author Anne Tyler once again creates characters that come alive on the page, with lives that resonate with detail and clarity. This book is a winner.

I love the books of Anne Tyler and have read most of them (if not all!) Willa Drake has always taken the safe route through life. Her mother was flighty, abusive and unpredictable and Willa has been careful to do things differently. She has reached the age of 61 without taking any chances. Then an opportunity arises to live a different sort of life, not as safe but vastly more rewarding. It's very difficult to make major changes in your life in your sixties. It's scary. Willa has not met anyone she could call a friend in the golf club- related community that she has moved to with her second husband. When she is given an opportunity to help out a former girlfriend of one of her sons, she leaps at the opportunity. Her husband accompanies her across the country but rather quickly decides that he is not interested in the new set of people that they meet. He soon returns home but Willa stays and is soon surprised by the bonds that she makes with the rather odd assortment of people she encounters. The habits of a lifetime cannot be changed that abruptly and she makes the decision to go home to her husband, who has been rather cool with her . It's not until she is back in Arizona that she gains the courage to go back and start a new life. I love the way Anne Tyler tells a story. I quickly identified with Willa and was so glad when she courageously decided to completely change her life. There is hope for all of us!!

I was looking forward to this book as I had never read this author. It moves thru Willa's life at 10 or 20 yr intervals. Something happens each time to throw Willa in a different direction. She, in another words, takes the easy choice very time. So, she really never finds herself or makes true connections with the people in her life. When she is called out of the blue to help a son's former girlfriend and actually goes, then she does start finding herself. The community shows her even though they are only neighbors, they care about each other. I kept waiting for her to re connect with some people from her past or her son's, but it never really happens. I was disappointed in the ending and felt something was missing. I think skipping those span of years and not expecting Willa to grow more and discover herself sooner is a little unrealistic. Especially since she is well educated. She lives a passive life and for someone as feeling and as well educated as she, I think she would have discovered more about herself in her 40's. So, while it kept me reading, I do not really recommend it.

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 be practical and her voice to be magical. In this new book, Willa Drake moves through time. It starts with her in high school, at home with her family, moves to her college days and marriage, then on to the birth of her children and the loss of her husband. Her next chapter in life is to surrogate-parent the ex-girlfriend of her oldest son, along with that ex's daughter. This is where Willa finally starts to see herself as a person and come to terms with her life, both past and present. Her new friends quietly set her on a path of self discovery and Willa starts running full steam ahead.

Willa is 61 and pondering her usefulness and purpose in life when she is presented with an opportunity to care for a young girl.  While doing so she reflects on the past 50 years of her life and realizes her life decisions have been influenced by the negative attitude of the major players in her life with no consideration of what would make her happy. She is now surrounded by friends and associates who are positive and uplifting and they show her that she has true value and lots to contribute to others.  Perhaps now is the time to reinvent herself. I truly enjoyed this story as it is full of wisdom and insight that many women can benefit from.  Well done Ms Tyler.

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 course throughout the novel proved to be a delightful joy. Willa was altogether pleasant, and despite her disinclination for confrontation, she never felt wishy-washy or downtrodden. Tyler's strengths rest in her characters—she builds them from their core. Playing around with layers of varying depths, weaknesses, and influence, each person stamped with Tyler's style is unique and true to life. Tyler's people are members some of the most vivid fictional families you'll meet—not through their intensities or overdramatics, but because they are pulled from real life and placed on these pages. Perhaps having experienced this woman's life from her formative years, heavily influenced by her often-absent mother and her pushover father, it was easier to connect and trace the root of her willingness to put aside her desires and wishes in the simple, everyday conflicts. Although, like the only other Tyler novel I've read, A Spool of Blue Thread, I had similar problems with Clock Dance in the author's inclination to just meander and wander around, seemingly aimlessly. But I caught onto her trail easier here, and found in Willa a woman who finally comes into her own. After years of being exactly what she couldn't understand in her father (but failed to recognize in herself), marrying men who were echoes of her mother (wanting the love and attention from that kind of person), and almost never experiencing life solely for herself, Willa breaks her own pattern. Willa's spirit, long dormant and mute, awakens and finally takes the lead.

So happy to have had the chance to read this book pre-pub. I love Anne Tyler and she did not disappoint. The story of Willa Drake, beginning in 1967, as a young girl. Moving to 1977, a college coed. Then to 1997, a young widow. And, finally, in 2017, when a turn of events she becomes a pseudo grandmother. And in between, another marriage, and ultimately self [re]discovery. The mastery of language! SIGH. I spent a lot of time writing a review with quotes and observations--all lost due to server error. I am not recreating. BUT. Suffice it to say, Anne Tyler's language is beautiful. I thought the 2017 story too long. But if you are a fan, read it!

In Anne Tyler’s novel, Clock Dance, we follow Willa Drake through the most tumultuous periods of her life. Tyler skips many years between childhood, college, married life with children and then the empty nest years. Through each season of her life, Willa is led by the men in her life with little voice of her own. She struggles to connect with people and is always trying to please others in an effort to create that connection. As always, Tyler creates quirky characters to inhabit her beloved Baltimore. I enjoyed getting to know them. Clock Dance is an enjoyable read.

In the book we see Willa at four stages in her life. Anne Tyler reminds us that it is never too late to change.Since I live near Baltimore I can relate to the places Willa visited. I enjoyed the book and how Willa is always looking for a reason to feel needed.

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 capable of being. This is a thoroughly enjoyable novel. Thanks for Penguin Random House for the early look.

I'm an avid reader and read many different types of books, so when I read Clock Dance I was disappointed. When I read a Non-Fiction book I'm looking for a good story. Doesn't have to be action packed or mysterious BUT it does have to be GOOD. I found this book to be very ordinary. Meaning, it seamed, when reading this book I was listening to a stranger telling me about parts of there life. This book kept jumping 10 years or so ahead and I felt I was only being told a little about someone's life. Also it wasn't even an exciting life. And the ending came up so unexpectedly and so abrupt I was taken aback. Did not care for the ending at all. I would not recommend this book to anyone.

Ann Tyler has a way with words to take ordinary people in ordinary lives and write an interesting story. In Clock Dance, we meet Willa at a young age in 1967 and trace events of her life through college, marriages and family until 2017 where she is retired and feels distant from her husband, sons and sister. Then she steps in to help one of her son’s ex-girlfriend and her daughter who are virtual strangers and begins to enjoy being needed and having a purpose again. Clock Dance reminds us that as time goes by, we often have to be open to change if we want to continue to look forward to what life will bring us. I received an early copy from Penguin First to Read.

Having not read a Anne Tyler book, I've found a new author to read! Engaging and kept my attention. Great story and I'm a fan!

Willa Drake is in elementary school in 1967; in college and about to become a wife in 1977, in 1997 she is a widow and mom and in 2017 she has remarried and wants to be a grandmother. With a call from out of the blue, she flies across country to a total stranger to help a 9-yr old that she wishes was the grandchild she so desperately wishes in her life. A delightful story of maybe it is NEVER to late to change your life. Thanks to First to Read for an ARC.

A new Anne Tyler novel is always a treat, and Clock Dance does not disappoint! In this novel we meet Willa at four points in her life: as a child, as a college student on the brink of marriage, as a recently widowed young mother, and as a retiree, wondering what the next few years will hold. One day, she gets a phone call, asking her to come to Baltimore (from Arizona) immediately, to provide assistance to her son's ex-fiancee's family after an accident. It has been a long time since Willa has been needed in this way, and she immediately heads out east. There, she is charmed by Cheryl, her 'granddaughter' (and Airplane, the family dog), and by the neighbors that make up the local community. Anne Tyler is a master at creating believable, ordinary characters; this is a lovely read from a gifted storyteller.

This is classic Anne Tyler and just one more reason for my ongoing love affair with her writing since Breathing Lessons in 1988. As the Washington Post once stated," the charm of an Anne Tyler novel lies in the clarity of her prose and the wisdom of her observations." Her magic is in making the reader not only care about the characters but to believe that the characters continue to live after the closing of the last page. Clock Dance introduces us to Willa in her childhood and her family life which is primarily steered by a mother who exhibits bipolar tendencies and follows Willa into her sixtieth year. Due to her childhood , Willa matures into an adult who does not wish to create waves or to precipitate arguments or to create upheaval for her loved ones. Although her reasons are pure, it has caused her to sleepwalk through her life and often permit others to make many of the decisions in her life. Inexplicably and impulsively , she finally takes an action. Will she and should she evolve ? Or is it safer to revert ?It kept this reader rooting for her . A quirky cast of lovable neighbors round out this heartwarming tale. I found it to be a quick and enjoyable read. I received an advanced reading copy from Knopf Publishing and the First to Read Program. I recommend this book.

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 meaningful and full of heart and to make us think that life is always full of possibilities. In 1967 eleven year old Willa Drake doesn’t have a perfect home life with a volatile, moody mother and a passive father. Fast forward to 1977 when she is twenty-one and we first meet Derek, the guy she’ll marry, someone full of himself, anxious for her to give up her plans for him and she does. Fast forward to 1997 when she’s forty-one and a widow and her sons are distant. Fast forward again to 2017 when she’s sixty-one remarried to Peter who seems an awful lot like Derek. Anne Tyler seamlessly and quickly moves us across decades and while without telling us what happens in between, she has a way of letting us understand what those years may have been like for Willa. “She was the only woman she knew whose prime objective was to be taken for granted.” Enter into her life, by a phone call that was perhaps not meant to have occurred, is Denise, her son’s ex girlfriend and her nine year old daughter, Cheryl. Along with them a cast of characters who get to Willa in a way she hasn’t felt in a long time. No need to tell more of the plot because if you are an Anne Tyler fan, you will want to read this book. If you have not read Tyler and enjoy reading about a character who is relatable, whose life is not earthshaking, but one that is full of hope and possibilities, you may enjoy this as well. I received an advanced copy of this book from Knopf through Firsttoread. ( I’m grateful for the Firsttoread program since this is the only opportunity for me to get an ARC from Knopf.) This review was posted to,Goodreads .

Loved this novel, now one of my favorite among the many great books Anne Tyler wrote. 5 stars.

Reminded me of how much I enjoy Anne Tyler’s writing style. One of the best at setting a scene with her vivid word choice. I wasn’t sure where the book was going early on, but it was an enjoyable journey. And I loved the ending. Will have you rooting for Willa.

Lovely book, even if the Baltimore story was ridiculously far fetched. Willa was not a particularly endearing character, but something made the story work.

There are lots of people out there who will love this book, but I'm not one of them. I should also admit this is the only Anne Tyler book I've ever read. The first half of the book is spent establishing how passive and patient Willa is, maddeningly so, with no joy. There are seeds of interesting plot lines -- an abusive mother, a husband who might be abusive, the beginning of a mental illness -- but none of those are developed. She's just passive. So by half way through the book I had lost interest in her. Then at the halfway mark, her life changes. She goes to Baltimore and is then surrounded by quirky characters who are kind and take an interest in her. And she thrives in that setting. But wouldn't anyone? She's still passive. It's just that better things are happening to her. It's a nice story, with some good characters. But the main character still isn't interesting. The tone of the story changes, her surroundings change. But any change that Willa undergoes is only hinted at in the last few pages of the book. So I guess I didn't have enough patience and kindness for Willa, but if this is typical of the author, I'd guess that lots of people out there do have enough patience for her and will love the story. And I must say, I did enjoy the characters in Baltimore, and there were some good things there to latch on to. I just wish there were a little something more to Willa. I got a copy to review from First to Read.

This was a great story from start to finish. It shows that just because life wasn't great growing up, you still have a choice in the person you become. The ending surprised me and i had to read it twice.

I’m normally a fan of Anne Tyler. This book, however, left me baffled. I never really clicked with Willa, the main character; I couldn’t understand her choices or follow her thinking. I never understand the reason for the airplane incident at the beginning. All of the other characters just seemed depressing to me; I didn’t care for any of them. But the ending baffled me most of all. It certainly didn’t leave me with a feeling of hope. Not my favorite

Anne Tyler is one of my favorite writers and this book was one of her best. 5 stars!!

Clock Music is classic Anne Tyler and I think, one of her better. Cheryl ranks up there with one of my favorite child-adult characters and while some may find Willa frustrating, I could not help identify with her and thought her quite realistically drawn. In fact, that’s one of Tyler’s skills, her ability to create stories with people who seem to walk from real life onto the pages of her books. Clock Music begins with Willa Drake in 1967 and follows her to present-day, 2017. Her first husband, father to sons Sean and Ian, dies in a road rage incident, the second, Peter, seems a carbon copy of her first. Both are controlling egotistical, and have anger issues. Willa’s oldest son, Sean, appears to have followed in his father’s footsteps. And everyone in her life, husbands, sons, and sister, Elaine, seem to be critical and not supportive of Willa. It’s only when she arrives in Baltimore to care for Denise and Cheryl to fill the roles of mother-in-law and grandmother, ones to which she’s actually not entitled, does she feel accepted and a viable family member. I found this latest novel of Anne Tyler’s to be heartbreakingly sad and the ending not quite what I wished for, but if it had ended any other way, it would not have been Anne Tyler.

The book seemed to have good momentum in the first part, narrating parts of Willa's life, jumping years as if time was skipping. However it stops and we spend a concentrated time with Willa caring for a woman and her daughter who are of no relation. Then the book ends abruptly when Willa returns home. I didn't seem to draw a connection between the title of the book and the occurrences or ending. I'm left confused and unfulfilled. If this is a common thread of the authors books, I wont be reading another by her. I did enjoy the kind hearted nature of Willa's character and her go along with it nature.

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. The story begins in 1967 when Willa and her younger sister are children. Their mother is temperamental and unreliable, their father long-suffering and depressed. Willa picks up the pieces when her mother disappears for days at a time. Ten years later finds Willa surprised to be the love interest of the older Dereck, a jock and BMOC, "rescued from handsomeness" by freckles. He pushes her into leaving school to marry him, and pregnancy soon derails her plans to finish her degree. Dereck's fatal flaw of angry impatience with others brings an early and tragic death, leaving Willa with two children to raise. 2017 finds Willa remarried to Peter, an older, childless man, a successful and handsome lawyer who, though retired, still puts his business first. Peter is condescending and self-centered. Willa's children are grown and her sister is emotionally and physically distant. Willa is struggling to find meaning and purpose in her life. A phone call from a stranger informs that her son's ex-girlfriend has been shot and the neighbor is tired of caring for the girlfriend's child. The neighbor thinks Willa is the girl's grandmother. Willa has longed for grandchildren and decides to leave Arizona for Baltimore to care for the child. Peter thinks she is crazy. What happens in Baltimore changes Willa's life. Nine-year-old Cheryl is no poster-child with her round tummy and pudgy cheeks. She loves baking and the Space Junk cartoon series. Cheryl is also wise and grounded. And looking for a grandmother in her life. As Willa becomes enmeshed in Cheryl's world and neighborhood, she defies Peter's demands, until she must decide how she will spend the last of her life. I read the novel in a day, enchanted by the characters and Willa's journey of discovery. I received a free ebook from the publisher through First To Read in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

What a great story, I think it will appeal to women of a certain age. It's almost a coming of age story for adults, if there is such a thing. But I have known women with this kind of husband and in a way they do same thing over and over and still go back and I won't spoil the story, you will have to read it for yourself.

If you already enjoy Anne Tyler, if you're a fan, stop reading now and go get a copy of this book. It's everything you love about Anne Tyler--the lonely and just-barely-wacky characters who learn to connect, the beautiful prose that seems poured onto the page like melted butter, a main character who opens up to new experiences in expected and unexpected ways. If, as some curmudgeons do, you believe that Tyler has only been repeating herself with her last ten novels or so, and her version of Baltimore is too cute or too white, that her tone is just unrelentingly proper and sweet, then go elsewhere. Anne Tyler and her delightful new novel are better than you. The opening chapters, which skip through the childhood and maturing of the main character, Willa, are masterpieces of compressed storytelling. We learn more about Willa from the inside, so to speak, than we sometimes get from Tyler's characters. The incidents build a believable psychological profile, explaining the older, guarded woman who features in most of the novel. (One character says of her, complainingly, "You always put on this lady act, so cheery and polite and genteel.") Her timidity, instead of being a quirk, seems well-earned. And Tyler has created a character we root for so strongly that every setback, every thoughtless comment from the dense, casually selfish men in her life, makes us hurt a little bit on her behalf. What happens over the course of the second part of the novel, to the later, sixtyish Willa, is, as I've said, straight out of a build-an-Anne-Tyler-novel handbook, but that only means that it's sweet, and moving, and hopeful about life. (In addition to being beautifully written.) I devoured it two engaging, enjoyable days, and frankly, I wished it could have lasted longer.

Anne Tyler books are always enjoyable and I can never put my finger on why. Her most recent novel, Clock Dance, is no different. I thoroughly enjoyed the book but at first I didn't think I was going to like it. As always, her characters grow on me as I continue reading and before I know it I am loving the book. Clock Dance is the story of Willa Drake and the events of her fairly ordinary life. This novel is full of characters that come into Willa's life and they truly make the story satisfying and pleasurable. You see Willa stretch and grow as a person because of the influence of the new people in her life and you find yourself rooting her on to new experiences. A lovely story.

I really enjoyed this book, the first I’ve read of Tyler’s in quite a while. Now I’m going to go back and read some of her others that I’ve missed in recent years. What I enjoyed most was the humor. There were several laugh out loud moments. Willa was a very relatable character, trying to please husbands who were self-absorbed jerks.

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 forward. I liked Willa as a character and enjoyed seeing how her life progressed through the years but those Baltimore characters ruined the story for me. I know I'm in the minority with my opinion as others seemed to really connect with this book which is great. Personally, I didn't care for it other than the first part of the book. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy!

This is the first time in many years, that I have read an Anne Tyler book. I am now wondering what has taken me so long. She has a very comfortable style of telling a story. Normally I don't read books that take place over a long period of time but am glad I made an exception this time. If there is any part of the book I was dissatisfied with it was the ending. I wish that it had gone for just a little longer. I don't want to spoil it for others but if it had just covered a few more days in Willa's life. Now on to look for some more Anne Tyler books! Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy!

As a 60+ reader of Anne Tyler’s Clock Dance, I found the book totally engrossing and Willa, the main character, a symbol of of our generatiom of women. As a child in the ‘60s, she steps up and assumes responsiblity for her sister and the chores when her mother suddenly disapppears. As a young adult, she becomes engaged to her college sweetheart, even though he wants her to marry him and move cross-country before she completes her degree. Then, after losing this husband of 20years in an accident, she has to figure out how she will live the rest of her life without him. Finally 20 years later, remarried, retired and living in Tucson, Willa responds to a call for help; she and her reluctant husband fly to Baltimore, to care for the daughter of her son’s ex-girl friend. In the process of caring for the daughter and the mother, she finds new purpose, new connections, and perhaps a new view of life. Thank you for providing me with a galley for this book - I wish there were a sequel

First and foremost, Anne Tyler is my favorite author. I can still tell you where I was the first time I discovered her books. They are the best character driven novels ever. This book will stay with me, as all her books have for a long time. Her characters are quirky, they are real, they are the people that live near me. I love this book as I do all her novels. For a long time I didn't think she would write another book. That being said I don't think it is her best novel. I still enjoyed every word, every minute of reading it. It is my great hope,!that she will continue to write such wonderful books about the ordinary people that we meet every day. Anne, if you are reading this, your books have given me more pleasure than I can ever tell you. #thereisnothinglikeanAnneTylerbook.

This was a very satisfying read for me. When Anne Tyler writes about Baltimore, I feel like I am at home although I’ve never been there. This was a beautiful story of a cobbled together family that might not be perfect but might be just right. I was sorry when it ended, not because it wasn’t done but because I wanted more.

Well written but I felt like the story never succeeded in going anywhere, maybe that was the whole point. The writing did such a good job of painting a picture of Willa’s relationships. At the end I was expecting some epiphany or incite, instead there was no change or closure to a lot of unhappy relationships. I usually enjoy character driven books but this one left me wanting more of an explanation. Thank you First to Read for a digital galley.


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