Book Review; In The Clearing – JP Pomare

This small town’s dark underbelly is about to be exposed…

Page Count 328

 Publication date 2019 Publisher Hodder & Stoughton

GoodReads link


Amy has only ever known what life is like in the Clearing. She knows what’s expected of her. She knows what to do to please her elders, and how to make sure life in 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 Amy and Freya’s story intertwines the secrets of the past bubble up to the surface. This rural Aussie town’s dark underbelly is about to be exposed and lives will be destroyed.



Told in first person past and present, we uncover a story of kidnappings and cults through the eyes of paranoid mother Freya and child cultist Amy.

Freya lives in the Australian bush with her young son Billy. We know Freya is hiding, we know she lost her firstborn and we know she has something dark deep inside. But now Billy is missing, and to find him Freya will have to unlock the door to her past.

I found Freya hard to make a judgement on, as I think was Pomare’s intention. Her twisted mind and behaviour originate from events outside of her control, but does that mean they are forgivable?

Amy is one of ten children preparing for the new world as foretold by her mother Adrienne, the second coming of Christ.
Six sons and six daughters of Adrienne will bring about the change, but when Amy aids in a kidnapping she begins to question the truth.

In The Clearing is filled with misdirection and unreliable character narration, there are twists you’ll see coming and some you may not.
Do you ever find yourself shouting at characters on TV? That same feeling will dog you throughout this book, in the most enjoyable way.

I’m always fascinated by the psychology in cult novels and this one held my attention from start to finish. I raced through in one sitting and highly recommend to any thriller fan.

Roxanne’s Reactions:

Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

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