Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

I went to the bookshop at the end of the street and picked this up. It prompted the memory of the last Tyler I read, which, it turned out was a bit of an ordinary disaster. I read it last year, went to review it and imagine my surprise to discover I’d done the whole thing before in 2016, including reviewing it here. How could I have no memory of that, not the least tiniest feeling that comes of already knowing the text? I was torn between hoping it reflected on me – early dementia? – or Tyler. Neither answer appealed.

So, I’m standing there, Clock Dance in hand, and I realised what I really needed right then was a book I’d read in a day without putting it down.  And that is more or less what happened.

A vastly underrated writer who would surely have made a splendid story out of my misadventure with A Spool of Blue Thread. She knows how people work, she loves them. In the reader’s eye there is no doubt about each person, they are as real as if they were standing in front of you. This is not a fashionable talent in the canon these days, but one day that’ll change. She is accused of being sentimental in a period where that is a misdemeanour, if not an outright crime. I fail to see sentimentality in this book; perhaps that means I am a petty crim myself – guilty as charged in that case.

The lovely East Avenue Books people gave me two Margery Sharps I hadn’t yet read whilst I was humming and haaing over this one. Thank you Peter and Joan!

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