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The Clearing Takes Teen Romance Across Time

May 8, 2010

The Clearing by Heather Davis
published by Graphia April 12, 2010

Amy’s life seems to be unraveling after her abusive boyfriend, Matt, breaks up with her. She goes to live with Aunt Mae and her German Shepherd, Katie, in a trailer on the outskirts of a small rural town. She helps Aunt Mae around the farm, plays with Katie, and tries to adapt to her new high school. Part of Mae’s property is shrouded in perpetual mist, and when Amy enters this clouded area, time seems to stand still. There she meets eighteen-year-old Henry, who is attractive and kind and begins to melt her distrust of men.

Meanwhile, Henry is living with his mother and grandfather on their farm, in 1944, waiting for news of his brother Robert, who is fighting in Normandy. He knows his family was on the verge of getting disastrous news when time stopped. Now a mist encloses the farm; they haven’t left their property or had visitors in ages. And it is if the same day is being repeated again and again, with small variations, and summer never ends. Think The Others meets Groundhog Day. 😀

As Amy’s romance with Henry develops, Amy passes back and forth between the two worlds. However, Amy’s arrival has upset the delicate balance of the life that hangs in suspended animation on Henry’s farm. Soon they will have to move forward and face the terrifying events ahead of them.

I loved the premise of this novel, and I liked the two main characters. The well paced, intriguing plot kept me turning pages, and I liked the way it alternated smoothly between Henry’s and Amy’s perspectives. However, I didn’t feel the relationship between Amy and Henry was fully developed, and since their love was the premise upon which the whole story rested, it needed to be powerful. Maybe I am old and cynical, but I found myself skimming through their sugary dialogue, eager for it to be over. In a nutshell, I thought this was a terrific story, but I the novel could have been much more than it was.

On the other hand, I can see that Heather Davis is a talented writer. She has a rich imagination and a strong eye for detail, and she did a terrific job of creating the mood and atmosphere in the mist-shrouded clearing and the sun-drenched little farm stuck in time on a long ago summer day. Based on what I’ve seen here, I look forward to reading more of her work.

I borrowed this ARC from Around the World Tours.

Read More Reviews: Presenting Lenore; The Compulsive Reader; The Reading Zone; Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf; Katie’s Book Blog

Rating:

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2010 3:09 pm

    Thanks for the excellent review – it just makes me want to read the book right NOW, hehe!

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