Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Review: The Clearing by Heather Davis
Since this is YA, Amy and Henry's meeting inevitably leads to romance. The narrative alternates between Amy's first-person point of view, and a third person point of view in Henry's chapters. It's an arrangement that works well, anchoring the story firmly in Amy's time but lending an authentic nineteen forties flavour to those chapters that take place on Henry's side of the mist. My lasting impression of The Clearing is a dreamy, otherworldly quality much like the sort of time travel stories I read as a child. The truth behind Henry's situation is actually more complex and original than it first appears, and it captured my imagination completely.
Amy herself is a likeable heroine. We learn early on that she's come to live with her aunt Mae following a nightmare relationship with an ex-boyfriend who treated her badly, and the story sensitively explores the way this affects Amy's relationships with her new classmates. There's a positive message at the heart of this one, and the contrast between abusive ex Matt and gallant Henry is both poignant and insightful. At the same time, certain aspects of Amy's relationships are a little bit adult for younger readers.
There's something a little bit magical about The Clearing. It weaves a gentle spell all of its own, I found myself charmed by the genuine warmth that Heather Davis has put into her characters and the love story they share. It's sweet and old-fashioned, and I'd recommend it to readers looking for a timeslip story with heart.
Out: 12th April 2010, US
Reviewed via NetGalley.
Posted by Lauren at 22:00