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The Clearing, Heather Davis

2010/04/14

Amy is running. After escaping an abusive relationship with her boyfriend, she left her mother in Seattle to live with her Aunt Mae, who owns a trailer on an old farm in the country. There she hopes to recover herself, go to a normal high school, and make normal friends. She befriends a boy who lives on the farm just beyond the misty border of Aunt Mae’s land. But he is hiding something too — afraid what he knows the future will bring.

Henry lives the eternal summer of 1944, holding off the fall through some mysterious power. He and his mother and grandfather live on the farm which Amy’s Aunt now owns. Through the granting of Henry’s thoughtless prayer, they are stuck in the summer , suspended in their life before the telegram arrived announcing his brother’s death in the war. And Amy is the only one who has been able to break through.

This young adult novel combines elements of history, modern high school life, and time travel. The characters, though mostly likable, seem flat and stereotypical. The chapters alternate from Amy’s first person to Henry’s third person perspective. Amy seems to be recklessly irresponsible — sneaking out at night and lying to her aunt about her whereabouts, despite multiple conversations in which Amy seems to genuinely care for her aunt and promises to tell her where she is going. Neither Amy or Henry seem to be particularly sympathetic characters, and I found their mostly selfish actions to be off-putting. Not a fan.

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