Lovely coming of age tale set in the south, where racial tensions still run deep. Young Jason Lee transforms from a boy to a young man and is judged by townsfolk because his best friend is black. Jason Lee’s birthright sets the stage for his ability to stand up to bigotry: His father marched in Montgomery and Selma. Sadly, Jason Lee never knew the father who died in Vietnam before he was born. He’s compelled to learn about his principled dad and to live in a way that would make him proud.

There are challenges at every turn, as his mother’s grief finally catches up with her and Jason Lee fends for himself alongside his uncle, a mentally-disabled Vietnam vet. When lack of supervision and poor judgment collide, Jason Lee unwittingly invites trouble and some dark truths lead to tragedy.

Sometimes charming, at times alarming, The Clock of Life illustrates the good, the bad and the ugly of small town, southern culture. The author deftly brings the novel’s setting and characters to life through rich, colloquial dialogue and the lingering historical backdrop of one of our nation’s most turbulent times.  Mary Novaria

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