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The Clearing

Set in rural Ohio, The Clearing tells the story of twelve-year-old Sadie Watkins, whose world is being uprooted by her mother's disease: a severe form of multiple sclerosis.

As Sadie faces the impending grief of losing her mother, she also feels the fading of her childhood and longs for her imagination to return. She seeks solace in the woods behind her house, where she processes her overwhelming home life through traditional Appalachian herbology, pressing and cataloging flowers and plants like a budding scientist.

When Sadie meets Cali, a barefoot wild child who seems to come from nowhere, the two become instant friends. Cali re-introduces Sadie to the wonders of the forest and gives her the courage she needs to face the future - the one without her mom.

This novel intertwines grief, love, nature, and wonder. It also acts as a time capsule of the healthcare crisis in the early 2000s, and the many American families like Sadie's who had to make great sacrifices when illness struck.



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Praise for The Clearing

I may have sobbed my way through part of this book, processing everything right along with Sadie. I loved this debut novel and can't wait to share this with my book club when it's published. I look forward to reading more from Cassandra Kelly in the future. -- Debra J.

Libraries and readers seeking a story about different forms of family, love, support, and the impact of long-term medical crises will find The Clearing a vivid, memorable read that should attract a wide audience. -- The Midwest Book Review

I know this story will remain in my bookworm heart for years to come. -- Briah K.

This book had me laughing, smiling, and crying. A beautiful story and so well written - I read it all in one sitting! Couldn't put it down. This is a book that I will recommend to many friends. -- Devon M.

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