FINALIST IN THE 2020 NGAIO MARSH AWARDS FOR BEST NOVEL
'another breathtaking page-turner from the author of CALL ME EVIE' - Christian White, bestselling author of The Nowhere Child
HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY?
Amy has only ever known life in the Clearing. She knows what's expected of her. She knows what to do to please her elders, and how to make sure the community remains happy and calm. That is, until a new young girl joins the group. She isn't fitting in; she doesn't want to stay. What happens next will turn life as Amy knows it on its head.
Freya has gone to great lengths to feel like a 'normal person'. In fact, if you saw her go about her day with her young son, you'd think she was an everyday mum. That is, until a young girl goes missing and someone from her past, someone she hasn't seen for a very long time, arrives in town.
As secrets of the past bubble up to the surface, this small town's dark underbelly will be exposed and lives will be destroyed.
PRAISE FOR IN THE CLEARING:
'Past and present collide in this taut and unpredictable thriller ... Twist follows twist and nothing is as it seems.' - Chris Hammer, bestselling author of Scrublands
'A chilling depiction of the ferocious hold exerted by a cult and its adherents. This is totally absorbing fiction, made all the more shocking by the realisation that these stories recur again and again in Australian society.' - Jock Serong, author of The Rules of Backyard Cricket and Preservation
'J.P. Pomare captivates in this haunting novel, In the Clearing. I was utterly gripped with the stories of Amy and Freya from start to finish, and fascinated by the unexpected way the two came together ... A sure-fire bestseller. Sally Hepworth, bestselling author of The Mother-In-Law and The Family Next Door
Amy Smith-Atkins, a 15-year-old cult member, and Freya Heywood, a 41-year-old single mother, co-narrate this bombshell-laden thriller from Pomare (Call Me Evie). Amy is excited to help kidnap seven-year-old Sara McFetridge and bring her to the Clearing the cult's compound near Australia's North Tullawarra National Park, where worshippers of Amy's mother, Adrienne (the alleged reincarnation of Jesus Christ), are preparing for the new age. Amy tells Sara now "Asha" that the Clearing is Eden, but Asha's recollections of life outside give Amy cause for doubt. Freya and her seven-year-old son, Billy, also live near Tullawarra. Though their remote house is well protected, Freya's secret history inspires constant concern for their safety. When another young girl goes missing and mementos of the past start appearing on Freya's doorstep, Freya fears the worst. Pomare dispenses details like they're a controlled substance, maximizing suspense by delaying the convergence of his two story lines. A superfluity of twists threatens to undermine the tale's structural integrity, but airtight plotting keeps the novel chugging until its harrowing close. Pomare is a writer to watch. \n