Friday, 3 January 2014

Book review: The Girl on the Cliff - Lucinda Riley

The blurb.
Troubled by recent loss, Grania Ryan has returned to Ireland and the arms of her loving family. And it is here, on a cliff edge, that she first meets a young girl, Aurora, who will profoundly change her life.
Mysteriously drawn to Aurora, Grania discovers that the histories of their families are strangely and deeply entwined . . .
From a bittersweet romance in wartime London to a troubled relationship in contemporary New York, from devotion to a foundling child to forgotten memories of a lost brother, the Ryans and the Lisles, past and present, have been entangled for a century. Ultimately, it will be Aurora whose intuition and remarkable spirit help break the spell and unlock the chains of the past.
Haunting, uplifting and deeply moving, Aurora's story tells of the triumph of hope over loss.
My opinion.
This book was recommend to me because I loved Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden so much. And that person was right (thank you, Ana), I absolutely loved reading The Girl on the Cliff.
This was a difficult review to write. I'm still not over this bookhangover and it's hard to put into words what makes this book so great.

It's a truly mesmerizing story, layered and very, very moving. Aurora guides you through some very big moments in her family's history. Her tale leads you to a very enchanting place in rural Ireland, to London during both World Wars, to modern day New York and back to Ireland. Along the way you get to meet different members of both the Ryan and Lisle family who all provide little pieces of the puzzle.

I loved how each person's story left the reader clues that would eventually reveal the entire family history, without making it predictable. Lucinda Riley kept adding more detail and more surprising developments as Aurora's story goes on. I'm in awe how she managed to do so whilst keeping the story exciting, interesting and clear. Somewhere in the book you'll find a family tree (don't go looking for it, it would spoil the first part of the story), a very clever thing to add to a story that includes 4 generations. Although I have to say, thanks to Lucinda's brilliant writing, the family tree wasn't a necessity.

Both the characters and the plot keep surprising you. Those different "chapters" reveal more and more until you discover, along with Graina, the family history and all the ways the Lisle and Ryan family are connected. The entire puzzle is glued together by Aurora, who thinks back on all those past lives; how they've affected  both each other and the course of history.

I cried my eyes out after finishing this book. It's such a mesmerizing, moving and almost magical story. I cannot praise The Girl on the Cliff enough. I'm definitely reading more books by Lucinda Riley... soon!

This is just one of those stories that will stay with you long after you've closed the cover.

Find Lucinda Riley on Twitter, Facebook and take a look at her website.

Thank you Ana for this perfect book gift.


  1. Replies
    1. Brilliant read, right?! Absolutely loved it :-)
      Thank you for stopping by! x M.