Powerful, Discussible Story

What a powerful story (it made me cry, but for a good reason)! I enjoyed the characters and really felt for them (which makes or breaks a book for me). The events within the story also felt realistic to me for the time period (Small town Mississippi in the 1980’s). So many different ideas were covered within this story I couldn’t believe they all fit together so seamlessly; but they sure did. This would make a great book club/discussion piece! There are sooo many possible topics within this story to sit and think about or talk over with others; Vietnam war, segregation, how the fight for equality has changed, depression, over-medication, and the list goes on and on.
The Clock of Life follows the transformation of Jason Lee from a kind-hearted young boy into a mature man with a purpose in life. Jason Lee must overcome and learn about many difficult situations the hard way. His best friend is a black boy,

Samson, which he finds out isn’t easily accepted in small town Mississipi in the early 1980’s. Along with being friends with Samson despite the feelings of others, Jason must learn from everyone except his mom about his dad, J.L., who died in the Vietnam War before he was born. What Jason discovers about his father inspires him, yet also scares him (because how can he live up to a man so brave?)
Jason’s mom, Cassie also offers a great storyline and discussion point within the book. Cassie’s life is completely turned upside down when her husband is killed in Vietnam, but she doesn’t deal with her feelings for many years down the road resulting in multiple issues for her. I loved reading about her and thought it was great that her element was added to the story. But, my favorite character in The Clock of Life is Jason’s quirky uncle and Cassie’s twin Mooks. Mooks, injured in Vietnam is lovable and inspiring and a wonderful addition to the story. All of these characters and their individual stories interweave beautifully adding up to a powerful and completely satisfying ending. Unlikely Librarian blog by Stephanie Langer

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