by Gloria M (San Jose): After reading the ARC of “Clear” so generously supplied by Simon and Schuster (Scribner) there is a new author on my favorites list-Carys Davies. Succinct and special, this novel eloquently and masterfully tells the tale of John Ferguson, a minister who is in financial straits due to his leaving his position with the established church of Scotland for the newly formed Free Church of Scotland and Ivar, the last remaining tenant of an island whose owners wish it to be completely cleared of humans and animals, so that they can proceed with a money making scheme involving sheep.

The eloquently written portraits of these two men, strangers who do not even speak the same language, and the beautiful descriptions of the landscapes traveled draw the reader into a narrative that slowly reveals their personalities and tragedies from their pasts and takes a journey into their unlikely friendship precipitated by an awful accident that befalls John in his attempt to earn some desperately needed funds as he traverses the island in search of the man he must evict.

Add to the plucky protagonists, Mary-John’s loving wife, who bravely chooses to follow her husband’s path when it becomes clear he must be in some sort of danger. Her journey is just as important and equally well crafted. This novel has a powerful ending and is ideal for lovers of historical fiction and those who favor literary fiction. Grab a copy and prepare to be enthralled!