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Publisher's Summary

National best seller!

Top 10 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.

©2018 Anne Tyler (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Tyler’s characteristic warmth and affection for her characters are engaging as ever... [They are] all vibrantly portrayed with her usual low-key gusto and bracingly dark humor... Power dynamics are never simple in Tyler’s portraits of marriage.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Clock Dance pulls you right in and keeps on ticking... Filled with Tyler’s wry perspective on appealingly quirky, so-called ordinary people... Once again, she throws light on the human condition... Her novels reassure us that the possibilities for meaningful connection - which so often seem lost in our hectic world - are still out there.” (Newsday)

“A delightfully zany premise... Most charming of all is Cheryl, the hilariously precocious 9-year-old who wears majorette boots... A tender novel.” (Washington Post)

What listeners say about Clock Dance

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Phenomenal Story Telling

Great story, so characteristic of Anne Tyler, my favorite author. I have read every single one of her books and they are all great. This one had very interesting characters and I loved all the subtle lessons it taught-how our lives are really made up of many different lives; how we can take on so many roles and jobs in our lives, yet the person we are at the core generally remains the same; how life is fleeting. This is what I took from the book anyway. Brilliant!

9 people found this helpful

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Not one if Anne Tyler’s best

I have always loved Anne Tyler’s books and have read about everything she’s written. This book seemed to lack the depth of her others.

There were no characters you could care about except perhaps the 9 year old girl caught in the middle of a world of adrift adults. There were a lot of unnecessary details that just seemed like padding. I don’t need to know over and over that she brushed her teeth.

The narrator sounded like she should be reading to children.

7 people found this helpful

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Missing a Critical Ingredient

As usual in a Tyler novel, the writing is clear and engaging, but this novel lacks one very essential ingredient. There is not one character central to the story that you care about or even really like. Nothing wrong in the way she develops the inhabitants of this novel, but apart from a 9-year-old mature beyond any of the adults, there wasn’t anyone I wanted to spend more time with. I certainly did not have withdrawal symptoms when I finished the book.

6 people found this helpful

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disappointed

this had to be one of the most boring, slow-moving stories that I have ever listen to. Please don't waste your time.

25 people found this helpful

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Disappointing on Many Levels

I have loved a few other Anne Tyler novels but this one was not one of them. The first chapters are good, when the main character is a little girl and college student. That's where the real story should have been; the dramatic and flighty mother, the girl's relationship with her father and sister, etc. But then it skips to Adult Willa and her time in Maryland taking care of people who are not her family, and it's boring. Normally I like the quotidian moments she writes about, but something about hearing them out loud did not work. The narrator's voice didn't help: she voices all the men exactly the same, like an 19th century count. The way she voices everyone, in fact, except maybe the main character, is kind of terrible. She would be perfect for voicing a Ramona Quimby book though. Her reading it made me not care about the characters and when I saw I had 3 hours left my heart sank for the wrong reason.

5 people found this helpful

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Disappointing for such a great writer

Anne Tyler is one of our best writers. This book has a stellar performance but the main character is basically passive and uninteresting.
You can just get so much blood from a stone.
This one is an effort to keep on with. I gave it 6 hours and drifted to sleep.

4 people found this helpful

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Dysfunctional families and real characters.

Too often in today’s Facebook world where everyone posts pictures of Norman Rockwell perfectly smiling children and smiling adults, it’s a breath of fresh air to discover Anne Tyler’s quirky characters with dysfunctional families and characters who don’t fit into a cookie cutter mold of happiness. I can relate to Willa who grows up with a kind father but a seemingly bipolar mother and little sister who grows up devoid of feelings.As Willa grows, she tries to please everyone-2 overbearing, insensitive husbands, two self absorbed sons. Until she meets an endearing cast of characters through a misunderstanding leading her to Baltimore and finally her sel awareness. Thank you Anne Tyler for always keeping it real!

3 people found this helpful

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  • D
  • 07-13-18

Narrator was hard to stomach

The children are voiced by an adult. Just plain painful to listen to. The story life suffers in this part also. So far not impressed!

23 people found this helpful

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Clock Dance

Once again, Anne Tyler's writing and character development does not disappoint! This is the story about a mom whose grown children no longer need her. She does not want to witter away her retirement years in leisure activities, but she longs to feel she still has a place of purpose in this world. This is a story about her struggle to honor the people she loves, but to honor herself as well. This book is about her quest to live a life that still matters. I loved it.

9 people found this helpful

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Awful!

The book jumps 16 years, then another 10 so what could have been good character development is lost. Annoying characters. Too much time spent on nonsense. I kept waiting for it to get better but it never did.
Don’t waste your time or money.

2 people found this helpful