I want to open my account today by apologizing for the lack of posts this past week. The proverbial tank has been somewhat empty and I haven't had much drive. But enough about me.
I want to you take note of the following author and book because, having just finished it, I have some serious creative juices flowing.
I predicted a little while ago that Anne Riley's debut novel "The Clearing" would not fail to delight so it will come as no surprise to you, as I turn the final page of her remarkable novel, that I will hold true to that prediction. Anne Riley's "The Clearing" is without a doubt, one of the must read books of 2011 for anyone - not just young adults with a passion for the mystical and the fantastical.
"The Clearing" starts with an eye towards action and there is a visceral energy to the tome right from the start. Riley's backgrounding in the distant past is a deftly managed plot device and it adds so much to the contemporary events, weighting them with a significance and an atmosphere that is engaging and just damned interesting.
The characters too, are so well drawn and vivid. From her two central characters in the young, earnest and recently bereaved Natalie and the mysterious and intense Liam to all of her cast, none of Riley's characters are wasted in this story. They feed into cracking plot so effectively that your appetite for such sumptuous story craft will most certainly be rewarded.
"The Clearing's" themes are weaved so well into its overall tapestry. From grief and loss in the case of Natalie's parents, to the examination of contemporary social interactions (ie. fitting into a new place), to the suspense of the paranormal elements). All of them fit! It's just so well done!
Anne Riley is an author of considerable skill. She knows her genre so well. Her characterizations are well drawn and grounded and her exploration of light and dark - both in setting, mood and emotion - has all the qualities of a fine artist.
I've said previously that "The Clearing" would be a novel to watch out for in 2011. I make no change to that assessment.
This is one seriously fine novel.