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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant novel
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...
Published on 23 Jan 2012 by Mr. P. Datta

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Okay Read
The Girl on the Cliff has all the elements which usually enchant me in a novel - dual time frame, a variety of interesting locations and characters and a hint of romance. Indeed, the author has packed a lot into this novel - World War I and II, contemporary Ireland and New York, a large cast of characters from a variety of social backgrounds.

In our...
Published on 4 Dec 2011 by Lovely Treez


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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant novel, 23 Jan 2012
By 
Mr. P. Datta "Pritthijit" (Stockton on Tees, Teesside) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Girl on the Cliff (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful piece of storytelling, 6 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Girl on the Cliff (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (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.

Because for every predictable turn there is a turn that is unexpected and yet exactly right.

Because the story holds so many emotions, and because they are caught quite perfectly.

It would be impossible not to care, not to want to know.

In the end everything makes perfect sense, and the final twist made me catch my breath.

A wonderful piece of storytelling.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book, loved it, 30 Oct 2011
By 
JM (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Girl on the Cliff (Paperback)
Well I loved Hothouse Flower and I loved this book too. The only bad thing I can say about this author is that now we'll have to wait ages for her next offering.
It is the story of Grania, a young Irish woman recently come back to her family home after relationship troubles in New York, and how she befriends a young girl called Aurora (the girl on the cliff). Grania comes to realise that there are years long connections between their two families, the Ryans and the Lisles, and her mother Kathleen has to explain the secrets behind the bitterness between the two. This takes the reader back a hundred years, to hear about Grania's great grandmother's life, and also a tragedy in her own mother's life.
Lucinda Riley is obviously a born storyteller as all aspects of the tale are equally interesting, whichever characters we are reading about. I have to say that I did find Grania's stubbornness quite irritating, I did think the way she avoided Matt for so long was rather unlikely and impractical, but generally the characters were likeable and the whole book was a joy to read. Very very highly recommended.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Okay Read, 4 Dec 2011
By 
Lovely Treez (Belfast, N Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Girl on the Cliff (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Girl on the Cliff has all the elements which usually enchant me in a novel - dual time frame, a variety of interesting locations and characters and a hint of romance. Indeed, the author has packed a lot into this novel - World War I and II, contemporary Ireland and New York, a large cast of characters from a variety of social backgrounds.

In our contemporary story, Grania Ryan has fled her bohemian life (and partner, Matt) in New York following the traumatic experience of a miscarriage. She has returned to the wilds of West Cork to seek solace amid her family, ordinary folk trying to eke out a living on their farm. Her return raises issues which her mother had hoped would remain buried in the past as Grania forges links with their neighbours, the aristocratic Lisle family who have been the cause of much grief to the Ryans. What follows is a rollercoaster ride of a story as we see how the deeds of Grania's ancestors still have a strong influence on the present.

This is an easy, entertaining read and the narrative covers almost a century of family history as well as physically moving from one continent to another, from the sophistication of contemporary New York to the bleakly beautiful coast of West Cork to the grim streets of a London in wartime. There is no doubt that Lucinda Riley is an engaging storyteller.

Unfortunately some aspects made this a good but not great novel for me - I found the dialogue rather stilted at times and the plot predictable. Perhaps there was just too much going on for me to feel connected to the narrative and I didn't feel there was time to get inside the head of any of the characters which is a shame as they could have been so intriguing. A little bit of editing and fine-tuning of the dialogue could have moved it into unputdownable territory rather than an enjoyable enough read. Still a good read for those who enjoy sweeping family sagas, to be sure....
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Am I on my own not enjoying this?, 12 May 2012
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This review is from: The Girl on the Cliff (Paperback)
I read this book in a day when I was ill and could not get off the sofa and cannot agree with other reviews. It was our book club choice and nowhere near our usual calibre of book. I cried through some of it but I think that's because I felt so ill (!) but thought it unbelievable, over dramatic and not particularly well written. I am hoping I have not put off other members of my book club as I am interested to see if they feel the same. Disappointing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious but inconsistent, 11 April 2013
By 
Mr. Stuart Bruce "DonQuibeats" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Girl on the Cliff (Paperback)
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable but second rate family saga, 17 Aug 2013
By 
Bookwoman - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Girl on the Cliff (Paperback)
When I feel like a good old escapist wallow only a certain type of story will do: a romantic family saga, one that's undemanding, yet totally absorbing. Authors like Susan Howatch, Sarah Harrison and Rosamunde Pilcher have all done the job for me over the years, and I've worn books like Coming Home to shreds.
They're never going to win any literary prizes, but I've come to the conclusion that getting this sort of thing right is much harder than it looks - otherwise, why would there be so many books like this?
To be fair, it's not as much of a disaster as her previous effort, Hothouse Flower, even if it does follow the same well-worn formula - troubled heroine investigates her family's history, cue second narrative set in the past, big revelation/tragedy/catharsis follows, mysteries are solved and loose ends tied up, heroine can face the future again. This time it's set in past and present Ireland, London and New York.
It's readable, but everything about it is second rate: unsubtle and unconvincing good and evil characters (all stereotypes, including some particularly bad Oirish ones, and another annoying Mary Sue victim/heroine in the lovely Grania), predictable and corny plot, ridiculously clunky dialogue - don't they ever read this stuff out loud? - ("My poor little girl, what suffering she's known ..."), shamelessly mawkish ending. And I know the girl on the cliff is called Aurora (and a very unconvincing child she is too - shades of Dickens' Little Nell), but a better editor would have told the author that the fairytale theme is too stilted and artificial to work, and to cut out the precociously twee sections she addresses to 'Dear Reader' - at one point she even patronises us with a family tree!
Just scraping three stars - at least I didn't throw it across the room this time. I've given her a second chance, but that's the end of Lucinda Riley for me.
(By the way, who's the redhead in an Edwardian pinafore on the cover supposed to be?)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable but cliched, 17 Feb 2013
By 
Nicola "nicola_in_southyorks" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Girl on the Cliff (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really expected to like this book more than I did. It's primarily the story of Grania Ryan, a woman who flees her life and her man in New York to return to her childhood home in Ireland. One day, up on the cliffs she meets Aurora, a young girl. Grania finds her life tied up with that of Aurora, and also realises how entwined their two families have always been.

This is a very readable book. It doesn't require much effort from the reader and is an easy read. But it has such cliched dialogue, in particular the two young girls who feature throughout. I don't believe any child speaks in the way they do. There is also a stereotypical American and the Irish families seem very stereotyped too. And somehow the story manages to jump about five years in the space of one paragraph.

There's a lot crammed into this book in terms of the years it covers, but none of it is particularly well done if I'm honest. It reads a bit like a Mills and Boon sometimes, light romance with a sense of predictability. A bit disappointing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Saintly characters!, 14 Nov 2011
By 
Jadi (Manchester) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Girl on the Cliff (Paperback)
This was an ideal undemanding,pleasant light read and I preferred it to Hothouse Flower. The problem for me was the saintliness of so many of the main characters! Mary,Kathleen,Matt,little Aurora,even Grania,all seemed to embody kindness and wisdom! They were all a bit too good to be true. The two truly nasty characters,Anna's stepmother,and Gerald,were almost caricatures and soon dispensed with,anyway.Might have been more interesting if they had popped up again later. I enjoyed Mary's tale,and Kathleen's,but found the Grania/Matt/Charley triangle tedious and implausible. Not sure why Aurora is wearing a Victorian dress on the cover,either!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 27 July 2012
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This review is from: The Girl on the Cliff (Paperback)
From the very first page this book had got my attention. This book is very easy to read and I didn't feel bogged down at all. In fact I found this book so easy to read I couldn't put it down as I wanted to find out what happened to everybody.

Young Aurora is a very engaging child who experienced a lifetime of sadness in such a short space of time. The settings of this book are good and comes alive very well.

All in all an excellent read and will certainly be reading more of her books in the future.

Would certainly recommend.
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The Girl on the Cliff
The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley
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