BOOK CLUB: In the Clearing

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[Total: 4 Average: 4.5]

Author: J.P Pomare
ISBN: 9781869713393
Copy courtesy of Hachette Australia

In the Clearing by J.P Pomare is gripping, exciting, and you have no idea which way things are going to go. If you’ve ever wondered about life in a cult, read on!


First, there’s Amy, who has spent her life in the Clearing. She works hard to make sure her community life is happy… until a new girl joins the group. She doesn’t want to stay, she isn’t fitting in, and life, as Amy knows it, is about to change – dramatically!

Freya has spent her life just trying to be ‘normal’ – a ‘normal’ mum with a young son. But then… a young girl goes missing and someone from Freya’s past arrives in town.

This is a rural Australian story, receiving very positive reviews. The author, J.P. Pomare, wrote the debut novel ‘Call Me Evie’ which was very positively received. ‘In The Clearing’ is reportedly even better than the first (which I haven’t yet read – but will be now).

If you like twists in your books, intriguing storylines, and rich characters, ‘In The Clearing’ is one for you. Thank you to Hachette Books and Beauty and Lace for a copy of this book for an honest review.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading this book. You can find out what they thought in the comments below, or leave your own feedback.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: In the Clearing

  1. What a dark ride ! I am left with a tingling spine and goosebumps after reading “In the Clearing” by author J.P. Pomare. Set in rural Australia and highlighting both the emotional and physical boundaries of isolation that people can sometimes face. J.P. Pomare has constructed a wonderful twist filled story centring around a sinister and dark cult hidden in the Australian Bush. Pomare explores the emotional experiences of cult life as well as the contrast of those living a “normal” life. Pomare also explores the ties that bind us to our past and how powerful they may be even if we try to escape them. I thoroughly enjoyed reading “In the Clearing” by J.P. Pomare and could not put it down once I started. Thank you, J.P. Pomare, Hachette Australia publishers and Beauty and Lace Book Club for the opportunity to read and review this riveting novel.

  2. I’m so glad that I got to read this book, I really enjoyed Call Me Evie so I knew this book would be fantastic. I was right. I was absolutely hooked from the beginning. Looking forward to reading more books from this author in the future.

  3. I was delighted to be successful in being able to read and review this book. It was brilliant right from the first page. I hadn’t read any of Josh’s other books before this one. I also listen to loads of true crime podcasts, and I soon recognised the references and reflection of the true story of The Family cult – https://www.thefamilysect.com/

    I thought that was negative at first, just copying a reality story, but Josh was brilliant in telling the two separate stories from two perspectives, then interweaving them around ¾ way through.
    He also acknowledged that the book was inspired by The Family, which was great.

    I can’t wait to read his other books.

    Thank you @beautyandlacebookclub for running such a great group, and providing us with new releases to read and review. Also to @hatchetteaus for the opportunity to read this amazing novel.

  4. I loved this authors debut Call Me Evie, and love Australian authors.
    Set in rural Australia , following the story of Amy, whose whole life has been in “the clearing” This story really gave a feeling of dread as you continued through the story…it was suspenseful and I didnt want to put it down. Pomare did note that he drew inspiration from the real story of ‘ The Family’, the Australian cult,people who are familiar with that story will definetly draw some similarities. Thrilling, suspenful and twisty. A great second novel.

  5. I was so excited to receive this book and the blurb had me hooked… unfortunately it was all downhill from there. There were plot twists, a couple I didn’t see coming but most were predictable. I struggled to finish the book, it just wasn’t for me

  6. 3 words to say about ‘In The Clearing’….Couldn’t put down!

    The book centres around the stories of Amy, a child caught living in a cult, and Freya, a mum with a chequered past who always looks over her shoulder.

    This book was interesting, gripping and tense, everything I love in a novel.

    The author acknowledges the ideas came from The Family cult in the 90’s. I didn’t realise until the end the author was male, he writes female leads so convincingly!

    Have already recommended this book to a few people. An Excellent Read.

  7. I absolutely loved reading In The Clearing by J.P Pompare.
    I could not put this novel down .
    As a fan of any novel set in an Australian setting I was certainly in for a treat with this one.
    Our main characters are Amy and Freya.
    Amy is a child who knows no other life than being in a cult and Freya who is running from her past and is always on the loo out for it.
    Gripping and full of suspense and so many plot twists In The Clearing was definitely a page turner .
    Loosely based on the Australian cult “The Family” , In The Clearing will not disappoint .
    Thank you to Hachette Books and Beauty and Lace for allowing me to read and review this novel.
    Highly recommended .

  8. This is the first time I have read a book from this author but wow, it wont be the last.

    Right from the start I was gripped, The fact that this was loosely based on a true story made it all the more chilling and dark. Whilst you do see where it is going, the path it takes is a tangled web of darkness which really makes you think that ‘hey my life isnt so bad after all’.

    Great book to read, but set aside enough time to enjoy it uninterrupted.

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