Life is full of lessons, some that take us significantly longer to learn, and others that pound into us like 50 foot tidal waves. One of the lesson we learn over and over as we mature is how to love. Love is one of the more complicated of lesson. It is a vast mixture of approximately 500 emotions, most of which you don’t really understand or that you would ever admit, and the other is compromise. Learning that sometimes you have to adjust yourself or your expectations to achieve harmony.
In “The Clearing” by Heather Davis, love becomes even more complicated as it is spread across decidedly different eras.
Amy is damaged, but not in the way one would think for a teenager (all emotional and confused), no… Amy is physically damaged. After months of abuse by her boyfriend Matt, Amy has finally had enough, and so has her mother. She is immediately shipped off to live with her Aunt Mae who (conveniently enough) lives in a tiny town and in an even tinier trailer, but that’s not what is getting under her skin. What is getting to Amy is this mysterious mist that lingers at the edge of her Aunt’s land.
Henry lives in a perpetual cycle of Saturday’s in the year 1944. Nothing ever changes, his family never ages, and no one new ever comes to visit. That is of course until he hears someone talking on the other side of his very own mist. Can these 2 very different, very lonely teenagers find solace in each-other, even though they are (literally) in two different places in their lives? What will happen if they cross the mist? And what happens when time finally starts moving again?
It is not often we as readers are privileged enough to experience two very different “times” in 1 novel. Through language and mannerisms Davis created a scenario that screamed impossible, yet she still managed to grab the reader and have them rooting for the irrational. There were a few gaps in the overall flow, and there were a few places I wish Davis would have expanded the dialogue (for example: the last 15% when Matt appears) but even with the holes, the plot was uniquely surprising. The best part? The last 10 pages. I became overly concerned with the ending of this novel when the characters started to take a certain route, I was almost certain Davis had written herself into a corner, but again, she managed to wrap up a beautiful love story in an almost ingenious way.
I read this in 1 day, but I recommend that you take your time if you decide this is the book for you. I think that developing an urgency to know what’s going to happen can be enhanced by taking your time and really “Feeling” Amy and Henry’s dilemma.
Cheers to originality, you never know what you’re going to get if you really put your mind to it.
Happy reading my fellow kindle-ites and remember: fear makes us skittish, if you see the reluctance in a person’s eyes, don’t be judgemental, be loving.
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