Amy needs a fresh start for her senior year of high school. Leaving an abusive relationship behind in Seattle, she moves to a tiny town in the Cascade Mountains to live in a run-down trailer with her great-aunt Mae. On Mae's land Amy finds a clearing shrouded in mist, and she is drawn into the mysterious haze. It is here that she meets Henry Briggs, a kind, polite young man who doesn't speak or dress or behave like any boy Amy has ever met. Amy feels safe with Henry, and as he helps her to put her past behind her, the two fall in love in the clearing.
But there is a reason Henry is so different from the other guys. On his side of the clearing, Henry and his mother and grandfather are trapped in time, stuck in an endless summer in 1944. Both Henry and Amy are reluctant to move forward: Amy, who has been hurt so terribly, cannot face her future, and Henry knows that a family tragedy awaits if they see the end of the summer. Together, Amy and Henry help one another find the courage to move on with their lives, even as the unknown future threatens their love.
The Clearing is a charming story told from alternating points of view. Both Amy and Henry are vulnerable and afraid, but they fall hard for one another. Their love grows in a sweet, old-fashioned way, and Davis creates plenty of tender moments between them. She also understands the mind of a teenage girl, and she gives Amy a true, believable voice. There's even a little twist at the end that you won't see coming, a twist that will leave you simultaneously heartbroken and satisfied.215 pages.
Contributed by Stacy Nockowitz, Middle School Language Arts Teacher; Visit Stacy's blog at: http://somenovelideas.typepad.com