Friday 31 May 2013

The Clock of Life, by Nancy Klann-Moren

Apologies for the late post again, my last few days have been spent preparing for my holiday! I've packed plenty of reading material onto my Kindle so I'm sure I'll have several reviews to write up once I'm home in mid-June. I'm off to Mauritius, woohoo!

I've finally managed to get some artwork - I love it! Thank you very much to Amie Dearlove - if you like her work, you can find her here. I'm intending on trying to change the page design too once I get back. So far, my time has been taken up packing (as I've mentioned), and trying to design some wedding invitations for my brother's wedding.

The Clock of Life, by Nancy Klann-Moren
Published by AnthonyAnn Books

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 realise 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.
 Firstly, thank you to Nancy Klann-Moren for approaching me to read and review this book. Congratulations are also in order, as The Clock of Life was nominated for the general fiction/novel section of the Indie Book Awards.

This book gets a middling 3 stars from me. I found the character development to be really detailed, and I felt as though I knew the characters by the end. As the blurb already mentions, the main focus of the book is on Jason Lee. Starting from when he began school and ending with a relationship and career choice as a teenager, this book is Jason's journey through childhood.

The reason it didn't rate any higher for me though is that I found it to be fairly slow paced, and at times weighed down with politics that as an English woman, I didn't completely connect with. Plotwise, while things did happen, it didn't become exciting until right at the end.

The message about race is a good one, and the book highlights how far attitudes towards race have come. I did enjoy it, although maybe not in the way I enjoyed a book like The Hunger Games, where I felt a sense of satisfaction and couldn't wait to read more. If you like bildungsromans/coming-of-age stories, I'd definitely recommend it.


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