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Clock Dance

A novel

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.
Rezension
"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

"Delightfully zany . . . Charming . . . Tender." -Washington Post

"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, an
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  • 2017

    The phone call came on a Tuesday afternoon in mid-July. Willa happened to be sorting her headbands. She had laid them out across the bed in clumps of different colors, and now she was pressing them flat with her fingers and aligning them in the compartments of a fabric-covered storage box she'd bought especially for the purpose. Then all at once, ring!

    She crossed to the phone and checked the caller ID: a Baltimore area code. Sean had a Baltimore area code. This wasn't Sean's number, though, so of course a little claw of anxiety clutched her chest. She lifted the receiver and said, "Hello?"

    "Mrs. MacIntyre?" a woman asked.

    Willa had not been Mrs. MacIntyre in over a decade, but she said, "Yes?"

    "You don't know me," the woman said. (Not a reassuring beginning.) She had a flat-toned, carrying voice-an overweight voice, Willa thought-and a Baltimore accent that turned "know me" into "Naomi," very nearly. "My name is Callie Montgomery," she said. "I'm a neighbor of Denise's."

    "Denise?"

    "Denise, your daughter-in-law."

    Willa didn't have any daughters-in-law, sad to say. However, Sean used to live with a Denise, so she went along with it. "Oh, yes," she said.

    "And yesterday, she got shot."

    "She what?"

    "Got shot in the leg."

    "Who did that?"

    "Now, that I couldn't tell you," Callie said. She let out a breath of air that Willa mistook at first for laughter, till she realized Callie must be smoking. She had forgotten those whooshing pauses that happened during phone conversations with smokers. "It was just random, I guess," Callie said. "You know."

    "Ah."

    "So off she goes in the ambulance and out of the goodness of my heart I take her daughter back to my house, even though I don't know the kid from Adam, to tell the truth. I hardly even know Denise! I just moved here last Thanksgiving when I left my sorry excuse for a husband and had to rent a place in a hurry. Well, that's a whole nother story which wouldn't interest you, I don't suppose, but anyhow, I figured I'd be stuck with Cheryl for just a couple of hours, right? Since a bullet in the leg didn't sound all that serious. But then lo and behold, Denise had to have an operation, so a couple of hours turns into overnight and then this morning she calls and tells me they're keeping her in the hospital for who-knows-how-much-longer."

    "Oh, dear . . ."

    "And I'm a working woman! I work at the PNC Bank! I was already dressed in my outfit when she called. Besides which, I am not used to dealing with children. This has been just about the longest day of my life, I tell you."

    Willa had known that Denise was a single mother, although she'd forgotten how old the child was and she had only a vague recollection that the father was "long gone," whatever that was supposed to mean. Helplessly, she said, "Well . . . that does sound like a problem."

    "Plus also there is Airplane who I think I might be allergic to."

    "Excuse me?"

    "So I go over to Denise's house and check the numbers on the list above her phone-doctors and veterinarian and whatnot-thinking I will call Sean if I have to although everybody knows Denise wouldn't even let him back in the house that time to pack his things, and what do I see but where she's written 'Sean's mom' so I say to myself, 'Okay, I'm just going to call Sean's mom and ask her to come get her grandchild.' "

    Willa couldn't imagine why her number would be on Denise's phone list. She said, "Actually-"

    "What state is this, anyhow?"

    "Sorry?"

    "What state is area code five-two-oh?"

    "It's Arizona," Willa said.

    "So, do you think you could find yourself a flight that gets in this evening? I mean, it must be afternoon for you still, right? And I am losing my mind here, I tell you. I cannot wait to set eyes on you. Me and Cheryl and Airplane all three-we'll
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 304
Erscheinungsdatum 10.07.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-5247-1143-6
Verlag Random House LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 23.3/15.4/2.5 cm
Gewicht 442 g
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Fr. 23.90
Fr. 23.90
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Clock Dance
von Miss.mesmerized am 07.07.2018
Bewertet: Einband: gebundene Ausgabe

Willa Drake is only eleven when her mother suddenly disappears and leaves her two daughters and husband to themselves. Since their father is a good man but incapable of managing the household, Willa has to take over the mother’s role. Ten years later, she has almost finished her studies and dreams of a career in linguistics when... Willa Drake is only eleven when her mother suddenly disappears and leaves her two daughters and husband to themselves. Since their father is a good man but incapable of managing the household, Willa has to take over the mother’s role. Ten years later, she has almost finished her studies and dreams of a career in linguistics when her boy-friend proposes and expects her to give up her studies. Another twenty years later, a preventable accident kills her husband and leaves her alone with their two sons. When she is already sixty, again somebody makes a decision which has a deep impact on her life. A neighbour of Denise calls her – the ex-girl-friend of her son has been shot in the leg and now her 9-year-old daughter Cheryl is left to her own devices in Baltimore. Willa decides that she is needed even though she neither knows Denise nor Cheryl and heads to Baltimore accompanied by her second husband Peter. What she finds there is what she has been longing for for years: somebody who is grateful for what she does and a group of people who are, on the one hand, lonesome, but on the other hand, take care of each other. In the first part of Anne Tyler’s novel, we only get short episodes, decisive moments which will make a change in Willa’s life: the mother’s disappearance, the proposal and the death of her husband. What they have in common is not only the impact on Willa, but first and foremost the fact that she is on a position where she has no power over her own life, it is others who make a decision for her without consulting her and without taking her own opinion into consideration. First her parents, then her husbands and she never openly opposes them, but gives in by far too soon. The second part is quite different since here, we accompany Willa travelling to Baltimore and taking care of Cheryl and Denise. Even though she was always there for her husbands and sons, Willa does not really seem to be loved and appreciated by them. It is those strangers that give her the impression of being important and needed and what she does is not taken for granted. Willa is not a perfect woman, she also has her flaws and seems to be rather ordinary in many ways: the life she leads is the one many thousands of women of her generation lead, her view of herself and her place in the world is also shared by millions. She regrets the weak bonds she has with her sister and also with her sons when they are grown up and hardly stay in contact with their mother. However, this does not have to be like this and there is always the chance of escape as Anne Tyler shows. It is not the big sudden decision, but a long and slow process which also has some steps backwards and isn’t easy at all. It is hard not to like the protagonist, even though at times I had the strong urge to push her a bit to stand up for herself, but this would have been completely against her character. “Clock dance” is a novel narrated in a very lively way. The dialogues as well as Willa’s thoughts seem to be absolutely authentic and easy to imagine. The characters are realistic in the way they are modelled, none of them is really outstanding from the crowd, but this makes them this interesting: Anne Tyler captures those particular aspects, the traits easily to be overlooked that make them loveable and important to someone. Her style of writing is smooth and makes you just rush through the novel. It is one of those novel which do not need the big event or outstanding character but captivates the reader through its authenticity which shows that the average person can make a change.