The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren, YA, 2012, 365p, Rating=3
Source: paperback provided by author in exchange for an honest review
In the small town of Hadlee, Mississippi, during the 1980's, 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 friend.
I'm a fan of books set in the South or about the South. I've found them to be generally funny or serious so I'd either have a good laugh or a good cry. I expected a good cry from this book but I didn't. It's a lovely coming of age story but it lacked richness. It provided many sentiment narratives yet it didn't invoke a full heartfelt emotion in me. I'm shock because it's easy to get me emotional so this says a lot about the read. I think the author was giving examples of the effects of racial intolerance and the Vietnam War to too many characters in the book that it read as a matter-of-fact kind of storytelling. Perhaps concentrating on two or three of the characters would have furnished the emotional impact I was hoping for instead of the practical one this book turned out to be. Funny, I could see how some might argue that this book was full of emotion. Yes, in itemization but it didn't add up to fulfillment.
Don't get me wrong. The book was easy to follow and wasn't a waste of time. I just expected more for this type of subject.