book cover of Clear
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Clear

(2024)
A novel by

 
 
“Tender, riveting, and inventive is Clear, the newest offering and masterpiece from the brilliant Carys Davies. It will take your breath away…What a thrill.” —Sarah Jessica Parker

A stunning, exquisite novel from an award-winning writer about a minister dispatched to a remote island off of Scotland to “clear” the last remaining inhabitant, who has no intention of leaving—an unforgettable tale of resilience, change, and hope.

John, an impoverished Scottish minister, has accepted a job evicting the lone remaining occupant of an island north of Scotland—Ivar, who has been living alone for decades, with only the animals and the sea for company. Though his wife, Mary, has serious misgivings about the errand, he decides to go anyway, setting in motion a chain of events that neither he nor Mary could have predicted.

Shortly after John reaches the island, he falls down a cliff and is found, unconscious and badly injured, by Ivar who takes him home and tends to his wounds. The two men do not speak a common language, but as John builds a dictionary of Ivar’s world, they learn to communicate and, as Ivar sees himself for the first time in decades reflected through the eyes of another person, they build a fragile, unusual connection.

Unfolding in the 1840s in the final stages of the infamous Scottish Clearances��which saw whole communities of the rural poor driven off the land in a relentless program of forced evictions—this singular, beautiful, deeply surprising novel explores the differences and connections between us, the way history shapes our deepest convictions, and how the human spirit can survive despite all odds. Moving and unpredictable, sensitive and spellbinding,
Clear is a profound and pleasurable read.


Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"A wonderfully humane and moving depiction of loneliness and the connections forged between strangers that transcend all barriers, even language." - Clare Chambers

"A poignant, profound depiction of both solitude and connection. Davies has written a masterful, discreetly sublime book." - Hernán Diaz

"Clear is a compact, taut and brilliant novel with an ingenious premise: one man is sent to evict another from his land, but suddenly requires the second man's aid. Everything gets more complicated from there. The book is about belonging, a dying language, secrets, and a pistol in a box. I loved every page." - Anthony Doerr

"Clear is a love letter to a vanished way of life, to a landscape, and to human relationships. Captivating, tender, and satisfying, this is a novel to be savoured." - Claire Fuller

"An exquisite, hopeful masterpiece ... my favorite book of 2024 and probably many more years to come." - Rachel Joyce

"With Clear, Carys Davies has again done brilliantly what she does best - saying most by saying least. She has the rare gift of eloquent brevity - Clear is astute, moving, unexpected." - Penelope Lively

"This intriguing and inventive story escorts the reader to an unexpectedly joyous ending that hints at our contemporary interest in new ideas of what a family might be. The writing style is one of clarity and reserved sensibility punctuated with an end-game needle jab. Not to be missed." - Annie Proulx


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