Publication Date/Version: April 2010/Paperback
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Around The World Tours (Thanks!)
Amy, a sixteen-year-old recovering from an abusive relationship, moves to the country to start a new life with her aunt–all she wants is for everything to be different. In the clearing at the back of Aunt Mae’s property, she makes an amazing discovery—Henry, a boy stuck in the endless summer of 1944. Henry and his world become Amy’s refuge and she begins to learn that some moments are worth savoring. But when the past and present come crashing together, both of them must find the courage to face what is meant to be, even if it means losing each other forever.
Moving from a big city to her aunt's small, country home after a relationship with a bad outcome, Amy has a lot to get used to. It's alright with her, though. She wants, and needs, things to be different. Just how different things will get, however, is beyond Amy's imagination. After wandering through a strange mist behind her aunt's house, Amy meets Henry, a boy stuck quite literally in the past. What develops is a real, hopeful love. Because of Henry's situation, things unfortunately can't stay as there are forever.
The Clearing is my first novel by Heather Davis, and based on its tone and setting, I look forward to picking up more.
Amy comes across as a brash character throughout the novel, but she's not without her reasons. Her attitude irked me at times, mainly when she was hurting genuinely nice characters without knowing it, but I also understand her need to protect herself. I'm glad this took place in the country, not the city, as I believe it helped add to the serene romance that took place. It was one of those settings that you wished you could have as a child, one of those gorgeous places to grow up. Rockville was a quaint country town where the neighbors are friendly and people make blueberry jam. Davis created the setting perfectly, and without it the book wouldn't have been what it was.
Told in alternation perspectives, you can see Amy and Henry's relationship progress slowly, but in a lovely way. Henry was the classic gentleman - ladies first, hold the door, don't make her uncomfortable. He never pushed Amy or asked for anything she didn't want to give. His demeanor was refreshing in a genre that's riddled with bad boys. I absolutely adored the progression of the relationship, as it was sweet and simple, but oh so deep. This was true, real love, not just lust. And I enjoyed every minute of it.
Henry's situation was an odd one, but luckily it was explained well. My mind couldn't fully comprehend what was happening, but that wasn't the point. It created a perfect opportunity for love to bloom, and, in this story, that was all that mattered.
The only thing that leaves me torn about this book is the ending. While it fits the book well, it left me a bit wistful. I wanted more than what I was given. I think that's just me, though.
Overall: Lovely romance. Serene setting. A perfect gentleman.
My Advice: Buy it or borrow it. It's really up to you.
The Cover: I love the washed effect of the blues and greens, as well as the picture in the middle. The girl in the red dress is absolutely perfect for the story. I could have done without the "True love is timeless" and the boy, as they don't fit my perceptions of the book.
*This was read as a part of the 100+ Reading Challenge