October 9, 2013

The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren



The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren
Publisher: AnthonyAnn Books
Publication Date: November 2012
Categories: Coming of Age, Literary
I received this book directly from the author in exchange for an honest review

Description:

In the small town of Hadlee, Mississippi, during the 1980s, Jason Lee Rainey struggles to find his way amongst the old, steadfast Southern attitudes about race, while his friendship with a black boy, Samson Johnson, deepens. By way of stories from others, Jason Lee learns about his larger-than-life father, who was killed in Vietnam.  He longs to become that sort of man, but doesn't believe he has it in him.
In The Clock Of Life he learns lessons from the past, and the realities of inequality. He flourishes with the bond of friendship; endures the pain of senseless death; finds the courage to stand up for what he believes is right; and comes to realize he is his father’s son.
This story explores how two unsettling chapters in American history, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, affect the fate of a family, a town, and two boyhood friends.
My Thoughts:

Most of the characters and their relationships in The Clock of Life were believable. I especially liked the friendship between Jason and Samson. Jason's uncle was a humorous and melancholy character that I very much enjoyed.

About the Author
The themes of this novel were great, I always appreciate a social justice bent to the books I read. It's never a bad thing to be reminded of how things used to be, how far we've come, and how far we have yet to go.

While there were many aspects this book that I enjoyed there were a few that I didn't. This story is supposed to take place in the 1980s but read like a tale from the 1930s. While The Clock of Life covers many important topics I felt that it was stretching beyond itself to do so. There were too many things going on, too many serendipitous happenings.

I would call this book a solid novel with a vital message. I look forward to the future work of Klann-Moren.

14 comments:

  1. The premise of this novel sounds really interesting. I like books that take on social justice issues as well. They always make me think and question, which is always a good thing! It sounds like this book wasn't without its flaws, however. I'll have to take that into consideration in deciding whether this one will go onto my wish list. Thanks for your great review, Jennifer!

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    1. You're super welcome :D This one sure brought up a lot of important issues!

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  2. I was surprised by the 1980s being the time, the rest of your review does sounds as though it's a book about further back in time. But then I suppose if it's a small place history wouldn't necessarily be so historical? "It's never a bad thing to be reminded of how things used to be, how far we've come, and how far we have yet to go." This.

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    1. My brain kept snagging on how the time felt wrong. But maybe a small town in the south would still feel that way? I hate to buy into stereotypes though :/

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  3. I enjoy humorous melancholy characters... I might have to give this a go.

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  4. Oh Samson. I love that character.

    I'm mulling over Charlie's "I suppose if it's a small place history wouldn't necessarily be so historical?" comment... Yeah. I like the way that is put.

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  5. Jen, thanks for a super review giving both sides of the coin, so to speak! I appreciated your words, "It's never a bad thing to be reminded of how things used to be, how far we've come, and how far we have yet to go." Growing up in the South, I always try to remember this, especially when we travel back there.

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    1. You're welcome, and thanks to you for always leaving the sweetest comments :D

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  6. I agree with your review wholeheartedly. Some parts of the book worked, but there were just SO many issues to deal with. Like way too many. And then the one issue that they don't discuss is drinking and driving! The teens were drinking and driving. Um. . . where's the warning or something there?

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    1. Well, times were different in the 30s..oh wait...the 80s? I'm so confused ;)

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  7. I haven't read this book, so I can't really agree or disagree, but I can say that I doubt that I would read this one anytime soon. It's a maybe book

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    1. There were good things about it...and not so good things. A maybe book. Yup.

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