The Clock Winder
Elizabeth is 23, aimless, and walking by Mrs. Emerson's house when she stops to help. Mrs. Emerson is trying to move the lawn furniture to the shed at her large Baltimore home. When she realizes Elizabeth is job hunting, she offers a job as the handyman. She is a recent widow. Hiring Elizabeth works out very well.
They are opposite types. Mrs. Emerson, the mother of seven, is very precise. Although it is 1960 and casual styles are changing, she insists on her dresses, makeup, and stilleto heels. Elizabeth wears dungarees and sloppy white shirts. She does not bother with make up and improving her looks. She is happy working outside being the handyman. Mrs. Emerson tries to get her to become the household maid instead.
As Elizabeth meets the Emerson children, she finds herself being drawn in. She is flighty and impulsive. They want her to change. Even when she finally leaves the house, she cannot shake the Emersons from her thoughts. They cannot shake her, either. As the years wind on, their lives still intermingle.
This is a convoluted, fascinating story. It is not predictable. These characters act like real life people, not novel people. Almost half the novel has Elizabeth and Mrs. Emerson living their lives separately. They did not stay in the tidy pigeonholes I wanted them to stay in. Instead, they acted like many people would have in their place. I had to find out what happened to them. This book is a great read.
This novel was published almost thirty years ago, but is still available.
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These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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