My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Grania Ryan has recently suffered a mid-term miscarriage and has fled her life in New York to return to her native homeland of Ireland. In the middle of a storm Grania meets Aurora Lisle, a little girl with a very adult take on the world. This meeting leads to Alexander Devonshire, Aurora’s handsome father.
There are some issues I have with this book. Troubles within the book are far too easily worked out. It seems that Grania is the saviour of Alexander and Aurora and brings peace of mind just by simply being there.
The Girl on the Cliff weaves both contemporary and historical storylines together. The historical part of the story is told through old letters and then a good old chinwag between mother and daughter. Its a romance novel and a tragedy. Two families, the Ryan’s and the Lisle, are bound together for over 100 years, but the only way to make sense of the book is to study the family tree that is a hidden part way through the book. Without the family tree provided by the narrator, I would still be trying to make sense of the in’s and out’s of the two families.
I found that the timeline of the historical part of the story slow in some parts and then great swathes of time were covered in the space of a few pages, making for an uneven journey.
Another issue I had with this book was the complete trust Alexander put in Grania after only meeting her twice. One has to ask if a millionaire would really leave the care of their only child to a women with no training or references. To me it is highly doubtable. And the fact that Jeremy didn’t even flinch over Mary and Anna’s story just seems too simplistic.
There are downsides of this novel. But once again Lucinda Riley has written a grand story about family secrets and love. Leave behind all thoughts of reality and enjoy the overly Irishness of the Ryan family. Suspend reality and just imagine holding onto a winning lottery ticket that comes in the shape of a little girl.
Read this book because you need a few hours of escapism and this book is just right. Not up to the standard I’ve come to expect from Riley.