Clock Dance. Finished 8-15-19, 3.5/5 stars, fiction, pub. 2018
Unabridged audio 9 CDs narrated by Kimberly Farr
Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life: when she was 11 and her mother disappeared, being proposed to at 21, the accident that would make her a widow at 41. 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 spur-of-the moment decision to look after this woman – and her nine-year-old daughter, and her dog — will lead Willa into uncharted territory. Surrounded by new and surprising neighbours, she is plunged into the rituals that make a community, and takes pleasure in the most unexpected things. from Goodreads
I love stories that take a main character from one life to another. Willa gets a phone call from a neighbor of her son’s ex-girlfriend asking for help and Willa…hops on a plane. She is married and has two grown sons, but is unfulfilled. She convinces her husband to fly across the country with her, but after an extreme amount of patience he decides to head back to his real life while Willa stays. At first she stays because she is needed, but then continues to stay because she likes living in the small house with mother and daughter in a close knit neighborhood with interesting people. I liked the relationships and the people, but Willa was hard for me.
I think Anne Tyler has a gift writing recognizable people, stories and relationships. I always feel some spark of understanding who the people are in her books. This one was mixed for me because while I liked everything else Willa’s motivation and choices were hard to accept as something that could happen. And the end didn’t help anything in that regard. If you like Tyler you’ll probably like this one, but it wasn’t one of my favorites.