1843. On a remote Scottish island, Ivar, the sole occupant, leads a life of quiet isolation until the day he finds a man unconscious on the beach below the cliffs. The newcomer is John Ferguson, an impoverished church minister sent to evict Ivar and turn the island into grazing land for sheep. Unaware of the stranger’s intentions, Ivar takes him into his home, and in spite of the two men having no common language, a fragile bond begins to form between them. Meanwhile on the mainland, John’s wife Mary anxiously awaits news of his mission.
Against the rugged backdrop of this faraway spot beyond Shetland, Carys Davies’s intimate drama unfolds with tension and tenderness: a touching and crystalline study of ordinary people buffeted by history and a powerful exploration of the distances and connections between us. Perfectly structured and surprising at every turn, Clear is a marvel of storytelling, an exquisite short novel by a master of the form.