It's 1984. Patricia Vickers returns like a phantom to deliver an unwelcome revelation. Jayne Thornhill is reminded of those spiteful 1960s' schooldays: bullying, Charlie the skeleton, séances, strip poker and sexual encounters with the school's handymen. Jayne's confessions have now been whitewashed from lavatory walls, only to be unearthed in a third school friend's 1969 diary. A cloud of sadness is now cast over the three women's lives and only by revealing their own stories in later life can they move the stubborn hand of the undertaker's clock forward. In doing so, something shockingly out of line is revealed ...
Bookstagram and Other Review Quotes: Honest and Unpaid.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Read!
I was captivated by the story from the first page. Jan Moran Neil has done a brilliant job of recapturing the feeling of being a fifteen year old schoolgirl in the late 1960s. I never went on the school bus, but it rekindled many memories for me. The plot is well constructed and seeds sown early in the novel grow towards a brilliant final denouement. I look forward to reading anything else that Jan Moran Neil writes.
I have been OBSESSED with this book, it has been so difficult not to stay up until 2am to find out about the secrets in the past of the main characters. The style of writing completely drew me in, it felt like I was overhearing a conversation but I'd missed the key points at the start and was desperate to know more! Thank you for letting me be part of the tour. This was such a good read.
This was like a blast to my past, remembering the bus journey to school. I really enjoyed how the story focused not only on different points of view, but different timelines.
This is a 1960's girls' school where the school reputation is put before right or wrong. Truth is not always convenient, and isn't that always the way? I've been pretty gripped by this story. A recommended read.
Something a bit different but with very interesting characters.
Just finished this and boy, what a ride. It's not often a story comes along as satisfying as this one.
I was flying through the book needing to know more and when revelations came out I was unexpectedly shocked. This was a brilliant, captivating read and I couldn't put it down.
The characters are beautifully developed and purposefully written. It's sad, it's a little dark and it builds immensely up to what I can only describe as an impeccable finale. 5 stars from me. And one that will stay on my shelf, and with me, for a long, long time. Well done on an amazing read.
5 out of 5 stars. Goodreads review. A brilliant book - beautifully crafted and very difficult to put down. I highly recommend it.
A real page turner.
Loved the book. Gripping, inspirational, logical and very well written. Looking forward to more please...
5 stars - Amazon review I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your book. From your mean-girl characters, to the twisty turny end, it was a great read. I admire your prose very much.
I really enjoyed your book.
Blimey, am emotionally exhausted! So many twists I didn't expect! Loved it - read the whole book in a weekend.
What an amazing thing to achieve - you're a great writer and although I found the content uncomfortable at times, it was so beautifully written and kept me on the edge of my seat (well bed actually).
Big congrats on your book! I recommend it, great story!
What an achievement! Jan deftly creates a vivid sense of time and place and the characters are finely drawn.
The author skilfully demonstrates all the weaknesses and duplicities of the characters. I found the book hard to get into at first but once you get to the tragedy and begin to discover how all the characters are linked to it, it becomes very engaging and page turning.
5 stars - Goodreads review. A beautifully crafted story of relationships that evolve over the passage of time.
The Frost Magazine and Five Star Amazon Review: Beginning in the 1960s the structure's foundations are securely laid, and it proceeds to be mapped with fulsome use of letters and diary entries by the main characters Jayne, Patricia, Rachel Shelly, Danny and Benji, all of whom are linked, rather than bonded together by tragedy. The varying points of view, melded with time travel (from 1969 to 2020) are nonetheless tracked, and revealed. Shakespeare's Clock's raison d'etre is to expose the intricacies of bullying, relevant in an age when bullying - ranging from face to face to anonymous trolling on social media give pause for thought. Wickedness, weakness, duplicitity, and almost collusion are revealed. Where does bullying end, and collusion begin? Well, that's a question to ponder. I found the book rather hard to get into, but in due course it became engaging and relevant.
Five Star Amazon Review - Like an onion! I enjoyed peeling back the layers of characters and their relationships Starts slowly with what feels like an unreliable narrator and lots of characters. Stick with it. Beautifully layered and intriguing with wonderful nods to the decades in cultural and musical references. A really enjoyable read, which challenges the notion of 'turning a blind eye'. Really enjoyed it.
Just when you think you are never going to find out all the details, the gaps start being filled in and it builds to a surprising denouement. I felt completely transported back to my schooldays in the second half of the book and the politics of school life remind us of how that experience can affect your future life. The author combines mystery with social observation, characters that live and elements of a thriller.
I couldn't put Jan's book down once I got into it. Food for thought and certainly extremely well-written.
Five Star Amazon Review -The tale of Shakespeare's Clock evokes all the horrors and consequences of bullying and a culture of non-disclosure in a girl's school in the sixties. Several young lives were impacted in destructive ways that carried through to adulthood. Not a cosy read, but intriguing and engaging to the end. Would translate well to the theatre!
Five Star Amazon Review - There is so much to enjoy about this book - the time shifts do not in any way hamper that enjoyment. The language of the girls is so right that I was immediately taken back to my own school days (thankfully without a 'Patricia') that I could feel as if I'd met them. Do buy a copy of this book - you won't want to do anything else until you've finished the last page.
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this. All the twists & turns keep you guessing right to the end. Loved it.