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 friends.
The Clock of Life caught me unawares. From the first page, when little Jason Lee is bullied for his kindness toward Samson, a colored boy, I was hooked. The racial struggle is predominant through-out the novel, but Jason and Samson's bond doesn't weaken, it strengthens.
In fact, my heart just broke for the boys in this coming of age tale set in a small town of Hadlee. While the scenes are eloquently detailed, some of the topics touched upon are harsh, like pill addiction. The struggles of the Vietnam vets, racism, religion, friendship and society turning their back on moral issues set the tone for this engaging, complex yet riveting tale.
A town set back in time in the South, Hadlee, with two young boys learning as they grow, and telling the reader how they see the world in their eyes, The Clock of Life is a solid read. I really enjoyed it.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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