Oh, how sweet and innocent this book was! Anne Tyler seems like such a sweet human being and I imagine she is the real-life version of Willa from Clock Dance.
Willa is a character that you will easily fall in love with. She is an older woman who believes her life can be defined by only three moments: when she was 11 years old and her mother disappeared on the family, when Derek proposed to her at 21, and when she became a widow at just 41. This book takes us through all three stages of Willa’s life. Amidst the chaos, one thing remains: Willa’s kindness.
Willa finds herself flying half-way across the country to Boston to care for a child that is not her biological grandchild, but the daughter of her son’s ex-girlfriend who has been shot in the leg. Yearning to be of importance and significance to somebody, anybody, Willa finds that she enjoys the company of the two of them. For once, she has a purpose; she is needed, she is loved. Willa is a pushover, the men in her life walked all over her, and she is damaged from the intense mood swings her mother often had throughout her childhood. Despite her misfortunes, she was always kind and tolerant of those around her but she never had the opportunity to do and be who she wanted to be.
Clock Dance didn’t change my life, make me gasp in shock or cry from emotions, but it made me smile. And isn’t that enough, sometimes?! It was a very sweet and refreshing book; perfect for a light-hearted summer read. There wasn’t anything heavy or emotional, but it did remind me how important it is to be kind, even during times when you aren’t treated the best.
This book was freeing and was all about the transformation and breakthrough that can happen when you discover yourself, no matter the age. I hope wherever Willa ended up, she fits in, is happy and is appreciated for the innocent and tender soul that she is.