Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review: The Clearing by Heather Davis

The Clearing
From the Back Cover:

In this bittersweet romance, two teens living decades apart form a bond that will change their lives forever. Amy is drawn to the misty, mysterious clearing behind her Aunt Mae’s place because it looks like the perfect place to hide from life. A place to block out the pain of her last relationship, to avoid the kids in her new town, to stop dwelling on what her future holds after high school. Then, she meets a boy lurking in the mist—Henry. Henry is different from any other guy Amy has ever known. And after several meetings in the clearing, she’s starting to fall for him. But Amy is stunned when she finds out just how different Henry really is. Because on his side of the clearing, it’s still 1944. By some miracle, Henry and his family are stuck in the past, staving off the tragedy that will strike them in the future. Amy’s crossing over to Henry’s side brings him more happiness than he’s ever known—but her presence also threatens to destroy his safe existence...

I was really drawn to the story's premise of two young people from different times meeting and falling in love and the story starts off very well. The narrative passes back and forth between Amy in the present day and Henry in 1944. When Henry's brother was killed in the war and his mother overdosed in her grief, Henry prayed for his world to be like it was before and when he woke up the next morning, he found his prayer had been answered. His family is the way they were before, but now their farm is surrounded by a strange and heavy mist that cuts them off from the rest of the world.

In 2010, Amy has just ended an abusive relationship and moved in with her elderly Aunt Mae for a new start. But she has a hard time adjusting and making friends at her new school. She is drawn to the mysterious mist that borders her Aunt Mae's property and walks through it one day to find a peaceful clearing and Henry. Henry pretty much instantly falls for Amy, after all she is the first person he's met in sixty-six years, and Amy quickly figures out that Henry is different from every other guy she's ever known. But as welcome as Amy is in Henry's world, her arrival begins to create big problems as the life Henry's worked so hard to keep begins to crumble and they wonder how long their relationship will be allowed to exist.

As I was reading this book I loved it and I couldn't put it down, but upon finishing it I realized I didn't love it so much after all. Amy is a little blah and the author spends too much time on scenes involving Amy's classmates that don't have any impact on the story at all and detract from the time-warp romance. For me, Henry was the best part of the book. I loved his honest, country gentleman demeanor and could have spent all of my time on his idyllic little farm in 1944. The story is engrossing and moves along quickly but I found the ending to be ambiguous and dissatisfying. It didn't click for me and I realized that the story's main premise had been rather loosely constructed all along. This book had real potential and it was going along fairly well until the ending, but ultimately it didn't live up to what it could have been.

Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

*Please note: This review references an advance digital copy received from the publisher, and therefore the final published copy may differ. Though I received this book from the publisher, these are my honest and unbiased thoughts, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.


  1. You're right, the premise of the book sounds great. I love those kind of stories. Too bad it didn't live up to your expectations.

  2. The story line sounds interesting.

  3. I don't read often.
    One of the best books I've ever read. Amazing story line.


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