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
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.
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.
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.