Set against a ticking clock, this "haunting" and "atmospheric" thriller that inspired the Hulu miniseries "The Clearing" pits a ruthless cult against a mother's love, revealing that our darkest secrets are the hardest ones to leave behind (Sally Hepworth, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Sister).
Four days to go
Amy has only ever known life in the Clearing, amidst her brothers and sisters--until a newcomer, a younger girl, joins the "family" and offers a glimpse of the outside world.
Three days to go Freya is going to great lengths to seem like an "everyday mum," even as she maintains her isolated lifestyle, hoping to protect her young son and her dog.
Two days to go When news breaks of a missing girl--a child the same age as Freya's son, Billy--Amy and Freya find themselves headed for a shocking collision.
One day to go
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.