Friday, 21 October 2011

Book Review: The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley

Why has a secret from 1914 caused a century of heartache?
Troubled by a 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  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. 
I really loved Lucinda Riley's last book Hothouse Flower so I was very excited to receive her latest book to review. In my opinion, The Girl on the Cliff is even better and I have struggled to put it down over the last couple of days.
At 543 pages long, there is a lot packed into this book; it covers both the First and Second World Wars and the story flits from Ireland to London, Switzerland and New York.
Grania Ryan returns home to Ireland from New York. Her life is in turmoil and she is seeking the comfort of her family. Grania meets Aurora who is the girl on the cliff, she is a lonely young girl and the two become incredibly close. Aurora lost her mother in tragic circumstances at a young age so when her father, Alexander asks Grania to care for his daughter while he's away, Grania feels compelled to say yes plus it gives her an excuse to ignore her own problems for a while longer.
Grania feels a strong connection to Aurora and soon learns that their families are inextricably linked. Is this why Grania's mother, Kathleen is reluctant to get involved? She warns her daughter to steer clear and initially has no interest in even meeting Aurora. What happened in the past that has caused such bad feeling between the two families and what impact will this have on Aurora's future? As Grania delves into the past we learn of the many secrets and lies, sacrifices and wrong-doings committed by both the Ryans and the Lisles. Grania can't change the past but can she bring some peace to the future through her relationship with Aurora?
Lucinda Riley expertly weaves several stories together, I was completely engrossed from start to finish. As with Hothouse Flower, the author's writing is beautifully vivid and it is easy to conjure up images of the people and places that are described. I really enjoy books about relationships and the sacrifices that people will make for each other. There are heartbreaking moments in each family's past and as a reader, you want  more than anything for Grania and Aurora to find some kind of peace that other members of their families have been deprived of.
The Girl on the Cliff has so much to offer, I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone but it is so richly layered that you will not be able to stop turning the pages and beginning another chapter and then another one. Lucinda Riley's books are great in that they appeal to so many readers, obviously you can tell that I have enjoyed it and I know that my mother-in-law and grandmother would love it too.
I can't recommend this book enough, I shall be buying several copies as Christmas presents and I really can't wait to see what Lucinda writes next.

Dot Scribbles Rating: 5/5

Many thanks to Lucinda and Penguin for sending me a copy to review, The Girl on the Cliff is published on 27th October!

4 comments:

Dizzy C said...

Another one for the wishlist!

Thanks for the review

carol

Dot said...

Thanks Carol- it's ever so good!

Jo said...

I am over halfway through and rather annoyed because I have to go to sleep so I can go to work when I would rather be reading this book.

I can see an early night coming on so I can get this finished as it is so gripping and there is so much to the story.

I cannot wait for her next novel.

chicklitchloe said...

I got this one but wasn't sure about it, but your review has changed my mind!

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