The Clearing

The Clearing

by Dan Newman
3.7 7

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The Clearing 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A gripping story from start to finish!  I was definitely drawn in by the lush description of life on St. Lucia and kept turning the page because of the intricate story line.  Also, the author kept ending chapters on a cliff-hanger and then I had to keep reading and find out what was going to happen!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
When I review a book it is my practise, if possible, not to read anything about the book but just to jump straight in. I read this book and thought it was wonderful. I then read the Amazon and Goodreads pages on the book and was surprised at some of the previous reviews. It is not the book that is at fault. The problem is the publisher’s marketing material which misleadingly describes the book as “… a dark … psychological thriller…” The Clearing is an atmospheric story of Nate who in middle age is drawn back to St. Lucia where a tragic event took place in his childhood. He feels that this event has adversely affected his life and the lives of those close to him, so in an attempt to put things right he enlists the help of a local journalist and returns to seek truth and justice. Although written in the third person the book follows the lead character throughout, chronicling his actions and thoughts. It starts dramatically in the immediate aftermath of that event nearly 40 years before, and I was drawn in during those few pages. Generally the book then tells two stories alongside each other; the days leading up to the tragic event, and Nate’s visit in the current time. Early in the book the action also covered other events in Nate’s life which some reviewers have found confusing, but for me they only added to the intrigue. I have never been to the Caribbean but I appreciated the descriptions of St. Lucia as seen through Nate’s eyes as a boy and as a middle aged man. In particular I liked the contrast between old and new, some good small details like the nutmeg shells and the lives of the descendants of the former slaves. So was this a book about the supernatural? I do not believe it was. True, some of the older islanders still followed the old beliefs and the boys had their own fears which were fuelled by the controlling plantation owner but what happened to the older Nate was man made and I never felt that it was anything more than that. I thought that the quality of writing was very good. It read easily and fluently, and as far as I could see there were no spelling or grammar errors. If you want a dark psychological thriller this may not be the book for you, but if you want a well told mystery tale with a Caribbean flavour this is a good read. I have happily given it five stars.
Amys_Bookshelf_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Terrifying and suspenseful This book grabbed me from the very start. I love a book that catches the reader's attention and never lets it go. I read this book until I finished it, and then I was disappointed that it was over. Yes, it's that kind of book. Newman is an incredible storyteller, and telling the tale of Nate Mason, as he is in the present and what happened in the past as the two seemed joined together, is incredible. His band of childhood friends are not the same as they were because of that one fateful moment. Ahh, and they are in paradise, where there's a cure for everything.
Bluenose-Wanderer More than 1 year ago
I may sound like a broken record but I wish writers edited their texts or had someone who knows what they’re doing do so. This story jumps from the narrator’s past as a child on the Caribbean Island of St Lucia to his adult self’s recent past in the US to the present in which he has returned to his ghosts on the Island. The story begins with 3 boys looking at the body of a fourth lying by a body of water. It jumps to the death of the narrator’s own son and then has him return to the island to rehash ghosts of the past. The story jumps in nightmare fashion from the past to the present seeming to grudgingly give up its details. The story draws on the influence of rich island families, local voodoo, and superstition. The author keeps the reader in the dark as to the exact details of the murder at the centre of this story until the very end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book. It hooked me from the first page and kept me wanting to get to the next chapter and then the next chapter.
tpolen More than 1 year ago
Have you ever met a person who was trying to make a point but they just kept talking in circles? That's how I felt about this book. The first few pages of The Clearing were shocking and intense - a great start. But for me, the story lost its momentum after it flashed back to present day and never seemed to regain that same energy. I wanted to know what happened to the boy who was killed in the jungle, but had it figured out before getting halfway through the book. The description says the boys blamed the death on a mythical monster and no one believed them, but that's not what happened in the story. They never talked to anyone about what happened and how the boy was killed was the secret Nate had carried for so long. A little misleading. The motive for the murder was obvious, but it never seemed to ring true for me. Without giving anything away, maybe a little more information about the character relationships and their background would have helped. The author's descriptions of St. Lucia portrayed a beautiful tropical setting, but I felt as if they sometimes overshadowed what was happening in the story. I enjoyed the interactions between the boys when they were younger and thought the author captured the mischievousness and dynamics of that age group very accurately. Nate had also experienced tremendous loss in his adult life and his emotions were portrayed quite well. Overall, I liked this book, but maybe if the description had been more accurate, I would have had different expectations before reading it. This review was based on a digital ARC from the publisher by NetGalley.