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The Clearing Paperback – April 12, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547263678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547263670
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,167,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description
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.

In The Clearing, author Heather Davis crafts a tender and poignant tale about falling in love, finding strength, and having the courage to make your own destiny--a perfect book to slip into and hide away for awhile.


A Q&A with Heather Davis, Author of The Clearing

Q: Where did the inspiration for this supernatural love story come from?

A: I lived in a small town, very much like Rockville. Each morning, from my writing desk I could see a misty field, mostly filled with cows and horses. One day, I began to imagine what was on the other side of the mist. And Henry came to life, a young man locked in an eternal summer. I didn't write the novel for several years--until after I moved away from my small town. At that point in my life, I was recovering from heartbreak just like Amy, and I suddenly understood her and the journey she had to undertake. I guess, sometimes a story isn't ready to be written when you first have the idea. Sometimes you have to let it come to you in its own time.

Q: The book deals with the very serious issue of domestic violence. What made you want to approach this topic in the novel?

A: Sadly, domestic violence is a part of so many teen and adult women's lives. I wanted to explore how much of an impact emotional and physical abuse can have on one's self-esteem and life in general. How the effects linger long after the abuse is over. I hoped to show in The Clearing that you can survive a relationship in which you feel powerless and used and remake yourself into a stronger person. I think many people can relate to that theme.

Q: What made you choose the 1940s as the era that Henry comes from? Was there something intrinsic to that time period that resonated with you?

A: I have always been fascinated by people of the "Greatest Generation." My grandfather served in World War II and is still haunted by memories of being on a hospital ship in the Pacific. The sacrifice that he and so many other men and women made serving during the war is unfathomable. And what about the sacrifices of the people at home?

Living in the small town before I wrote The Clearing, I saw remnants of that old-fashioned work ethic in my neighbors--people who shared what they had, who toiled hard for what they kept, whose dreams were very basic. It touched me. Henry's family has much in common with those neighbors of mine.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

A: I love so many things about writing. I love taking disparate ideas and finding the connection between them. I love going to my workspace and falling into the scene with the characters--sometimes, it's almost like acting, I think. You play each part of the scene, trying out the dialogue, thinking the thoughts of each character. It's emotional work.

Q: What was your favorite book as a child?

A: I have two:

Bridge to Terebithia, because I love the idea of creating a secret kingdom and how it meshes with the coming-of-age story of Jess. How do you choose between childhood and moving on?

From the Mixed-Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler because I love the idea of living in the museum. Three years ago, when I went to the Met in New York City for the first time, it was the completion of my childhood dream--I could almost imagine being in that book!

Q: What is the most important lesson that being a writer has taught you?

A: One of the big lessons I have learned from writing is to believe in myself and the process. It's very hard to know during the day-to-day writing of a book that what you are doing is worth it. That's where belief in yourself comes in.

No one may ever read that page I wrote, but the writing of it is important. It enriched me in some way, made me think about something new, took me someplace I hadn't known, elicited some kind of feeling I'd buried and forgotten. The time it took to create it wasn't a waste, even if I cross it all out, delete it, or rewrite it completely. This belief allows me freedom to be imperfect, freedom to explore. It also keeps me writing. And you know what they say--a writer must write.

(Photo © Inti St. Clair)




From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Desiring a fresh start, away from an abusive boyfriend, Seattle teen Amy moves to Great-aunt Mae's mobile home in the North Cascade Mountains. There, she discovers a mist-laden clearing promising further escape. Penetrating this seemingly permanent haze, Amy meets and falls in love with Henry Briggs, a World War II teen existing in an endless summer with his mother and grandfather. One terrible night in 1944, fueled by grief and fear, Henry prayed for a miracle and jump-started a summer that never changed—until Amy came along. Stumbling, learning, and healing along the way, a braver Amy, thanks to Henry, Mae, and two new friends, decides to move forward. Taking her cue, Henry is finally able to step toward his own unpredictable future. But what will the future mean for their love? Despite familiar elements, this tender, supernatural romance isn't Twilight (Little, Brown, 2005). It's a compact tale about embracing the future and the life-altering capabilities of love. Henry isn't perfect, but he's genuine, perceptive, and non-domineering. Aunt Mae is an attentive guardian. And Amy is a well-developed protagonist, simultaneously vulnerable and strong, occasionally self-centered, realistically guarded. Chapters alternating between Amy's and Henry's points of view offer a nicely paced plot. While the ending might not be what some readers hope for, it's still satisfying.—Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

More About the Author

Heather Davis is the author of the young adult novels Wherever You Go, The Clearing, and Never Cry Werewolf. In addition, she's published two werewolf novellas -- Sometimes by Moonlight and Always in Shadow.

Heather loves writing empowering, transformational stories where anything is possible. She lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest.

Visit her at www.heatherdavisbooks.com

Customer Reviews

She ends up moving away to live in the country with her great Aunt Mae.
K.Wagner
Heather Davis managed to fit a fantastic plot with well developed characters into just 228 pages.
Christie
The book has both perspectives by rotating chapters from Amy to Henry's point of view.
Mae Day

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By T. Adlam TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Clearing is a poignant and syrupy sweet romance with paranormal influences--and I enjoyed reading every minute of it. The prose and pacing were good, which made it a quick read--done in a single sitting.

It's the story of sixteen-year-old Amy who is sent to live with her great-aunt Mae after leaving an abusive relationship. While there, Amy must learn to deal with not only her past mistakes, but also assimilating into her new rural life (i.e. making new friends, hard labor masquerading as chores, etc.). One day while playing with her aunt's dog, Amy discovers a mist at the edge of the wood. When she goes into the mist, she meets a handsome eighteen-year-old boy named Henry. Over time, the two grow to care deeply about each other, but there's one big problem: Henry and his mother and grandfather are stuck in 1944. And Henry and Amy must decide if they will stay together and how.

The story is told in alternating first and third person chapters. With Amy's chapters being told in first person, it would have been too easy for her voice to drift into whining, especially with the traumas that she's been through, but her chapters were treated with a light touch and she truly did grow as a person. Not once did I feel as though I were trapped and suffocating in her head. Henry's chapters, though in third person, were the same. It was nice to see how the story unfolded from Henry's perspective and how his own feelings evolved. Truth be told, I kind of fell in love with Henry, too.

The one area I wish was fleshed out a bit more was the development of the relationship between Amy and Jackson, a friend from school who was showing particular interest in Amy, thus causing a potential love triangle.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ann-Kat @ todayiread.com on July 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
THREE QUICK POINTS
* Point 1: Ultra-sweet. This is a book for true romantics at heart.

* Point 2: Melding two generations through beautiful prose. Davis paints a lovely portrait of the idyllic life of a bygone generation.

* Point 3: A few tiny holes. Some inconsistencies (and stupidities) pricked tiny holes in an otherwise beautiful story and made me wince.

SHORT SYNOPSIS
After leaving an abusive relationship, sixteen-year-old Amy moves in with her great-aunt Mae and while in her care, Amy discovers a mist lining the forest and through it a clearing where she meets the eighteen-year-old Henry. Over time, the two fall in love, but there's one problem: Henry (and his mother and grandfather) are stuck in 1944. It's up to the two of them to decide if and how they will be together.

MY THOUGHTS
I hardly know where to begin with this one. The prose was beautiful, especially the descriptions of Henry's side of the mist. I could almost feel the sun on my face and the honey-laden homemade biscuits melting in my mouth. And although the pacing was leisurely, it was so smooth and easy to read that I finished it in a day.

Then there is the romance, which is the cornerstone of the book. Its progression and development was old-school: Heavy on the courtship with compliments and consideration. It was so sweet that I would have married Henry had he proposed.

Not only did it show love in a different light than many contemporary young adult books, it inadvertently (and inconspicuously) touched on the topics of faith and purpose. Nothing preachy, but it did a nice job of reminding us that everyone has a purpose and that we are stronger than we often realize.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tabitha VINE VOICE on March 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm not a huge fan of romance, but this story sounded so unique that I really wanted to give it a try. And I wasn't disappointed. The writing is good, the characters are sympathetic and real, and the setting is interesting. I was fascinated to watch Amy and Henry's relationship unfold, and the choices they made were strong and believable.

There were a few things that I felt could have been explored more. I wish there had been more with Amy's former best friend, and I wish there had been a stronger resolution at the end. Also, I felt really bad for Jackson by the end of the book (which interfered with my sympathy for Amy and Henry), so I wish the author had done a bit more with him.

The only thing I really didn't like was the ending. I can't say more without giving away spoilers, but this technique has been done before and it never made any sense to me (logistically speaking). But hey, most time travel stories have issues, so if you can forgive those issues then you will probably like this story.

I can see teens of all ages enjoying this book. The language is clean and the few scenes with sex or drinking are PG.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Adriana on May 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Clearing is a beautiful and heartbreaking story of two people living in different centuries who by some miracle meet and unbeknown to them share a bond that will help them move forward with their lives.

After leaving an abusive relationship, Amy moves to a small town with her Aunt Mae where she has a difficult time making new friends and being able to fully trust others. One day she walks into the mist that's outside her aunt's home. There she meets a boy, Henry Briggs, who is stuck in the summer of 1944. He's afraid of moving forward because of what he fears will happen when summer comes to an end. They quickly fall in love and rely on each other to help come to terms with their struggles.

I absolutely fell in love with Henry, he was a perfect gentleman, sweet, caring, and so lovable. Amy was an interesting character, having been abused by her former boyfriend, it was understandable that she would have some trust issues, but there were times I thought she was rather naive. Thankfully for Amy, she had a wonderful and supportive aunt when her mother wasn't fully there for her. Henry has his mother and grandfather who were just as caring and had some of those great 1940's ideals of hospitality and kindness which made them really great characters I cared about.

The writing in The Clearing was so wonderfully done. When I was reading, it kind of had a somber and quiet feel to it whenever I read from Henry's p.o.v. or when Amy crossed through mist. For me it had a feel of The Others meets Tuck Everlasting with Henry being stuck in time and never getting older.

I thought the love story between Amy and Henry was so beautifully done. My only issue with the book was the ending that I felt ended too abruptly. I wanted to know more of what happens to the characters, it just felt like some things weren't fully answered. It was still a great book and I definitely recommend it those who want a sweet love story.
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