The Clock of Life
366 pages, $13.30/$5.49
THE CLOCK OF LIFE is the debut novel of writer and artist Nancy Klann-Moren. A true coming-of-age novel or bildungsroman, the book details the physical, intellectual and moral development of a boy named Jason Lee Rainey in Hadlee, Mississippi during the 70s and 80s. In typical fashion, the book provides the obligatory firsts you might expect to read in an initiation or development novel – the first school experience, first true friend, first love interest, first car, first alcoholic drink, first death of someone close, etc.
But there’s one big difference.
There’s nothing typical about this boy, this town, his family, his friend or his story.
That’s because Hadlee, a tiny nothing of a town, “a little flea turd on the map,” is trapped in the past, steeped in tradition and clinging to old-fashioned “Southern” attitudes that will challenge Jason Lee’s development every step of the way.
To complicate matters even more, Jason Lee’s father, J.L. Rainey, a war hero — the only son of Hadlee since WW II who was killed fighting for his country – is also considered an utter disgrace to some of the town’s white residents for his involvement on the wrong side of the civil rights movement before the war.
If that’s not enough, Jason Lee’s best friend Samson is a precocious and enterprising boy with a knack for finding trouble. Oh yeah, and he’s black and hated (and bullied) by twin brothers Culver and Eugene Chubb, two white local yokels who quickly become and remain a tireless source of trouble and conflict for Samson and Jason Lee throughout their young lives…..
Read the full review at LA Books Examiner.
Frank Mundo is the author of The Brubury Tales (foreword by Carolyn See) and Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories. His latest book is an illustrated novella for adults called Different. Don’t forget to subscribe to his emails and follow him on Twitter @Frankemundo or @LABooksExaminer for the latest updates.