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The Girl on the Cliff Paperback – 27 Oct 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241954975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241954973
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stuart Bruce TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 April 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Though most other reviewers seemed to be full of praise for "Girl On The Cliff", I'm afraid I really struggled to get through it- and struggled to even want to get through it. I've started and finished half a dozen other books inbetween first picking this up and finally plodding through its bulk.

The scope of the story is far too ambitious (in a way it's a modern day drama and a historical war novel jammed into one), and to put it bluntly, it's far too long. It's not engaging enough to sustain over 400 pages- the characters are too unsympathetic and one-dimensional, and there's not enough genuine intrigue to compel you to find out what happens. Neither is there a real sense of originality. Unless you've got a good chunk of time to devote to reading it in one go, it's also got so many threads going on that it becomes difficult to follow who's who and what's what if you have to take a break from reading it- which I think was my main issue with it.

In a way it's a shame as there are some very warm little set-pieces that suggest that maybe the inconsistent quality of the book is down to it being rushed to press.

Having been intrigued originally by the blurb, I really wanted to like this book, but couldn't.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 19 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is pure romantic melodrama built around two families in Ireland and their hidden secrets. It doesn't aspire to be more than romantic entertainment but there are far better crafted novels of this type out there.

Some of the characters are little more than ciphers, and the events of the story are all hyper-dramatic - so think rape, suicide, romantic early deaths, pregnancy, stolen children... The plot manipulations to keep our main characters Grania and Matt apart are particularly awkward and so very contrived.

So I didn't find this terrible by any means, but it feels like a tired formula which has been done many times before, and far better. There are only so many abandoned adorable children that I can take in one book and I'm afraid this one stretched my limits.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Datta on 23 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback
I appreciate contemporary literature for its beauty and wonderful story-telling. The Girl on the Cliff demonstrates those qualities. It is beautifully written and kept me enthralled until the end. The plot is well developed and thought out. It is about Grania Ryan who returns to her native Ireland following a terrible tragedy and as a result abandoned a good life in America, as she has loving partner and a promising career as an artist. She meets a young girl Aurora in the cliff and develops a special bonding despite strong condemnation from her mother. The special bonding is so touching. Unfortunately, a dark secret changes everything as there is an unwanted history between two set of familes: Ryans and Lisles. The journeys start from Grania great grand-mother where it all begins. How will history change everything? How does the tone of novel change? It is emotionally, poignantly and deeply piece of novel. It shifts between the past and the present, as we take a historical journey to the war-time as the secret spans many years ago. How will knowing the truth change everything? It paints humanity in a negative and positive light. I find the novel absorbing and enjoyable. The characters are wonderfully sketches and connection between past and present is fascinating and intriguing to explore. The novel is brilliant and deserves strong praise in all cylinders.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lynrow Kernow on 6 Dec 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Now, here is a book to curl up with on a cold, dark winter evening.

The story begins with Grania, who has run from her life in New York back to her family home on the Irish coast.

Kathleen, her mother, doesn't understand why. Grania had a wonderful partner, a lovely apartment, she was building a career as a sculptor. But she sees that something has gone wrong and welcomes her daughter home.

And then the girl on the cliff appears. Aurora. A child who has nearly everything: beauty, charm, talent. a wealthy family, a grand home. Everything except a mother.

A very real child, with maybe a touch of magic ...

Grania is charmed by Aurora. And then she is drawn into her life, and her home.

But Kathleen is concerned. Because she knows that the lives of Ryans and Lisles have been entangled before, with unhappy consequences.

And so stories of different generations unfolded, the narrative moving backwards and forwards to build a wonderfully absorbing story.

Every time and every place is captured perfectly. Every story contains a wealth of emotions. Patterns repeat. And themes, around the importance of home and family, echo across the years.

There were times when the story became a little predictable, the characters became a little annoying, the plot a little unbelievable. But it didn't matter.

Because the writing was lovely, and because the author had a lovely way of making you wonder for just the right amount of time before she sets out exactly what you want to know.

There is always a question or two in the air to carry you forward.

Because the plotting, and the way the story builds is so clever. Complex, and yet so easy to understand.
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