Reviewed by Jenn Leisey

Returning to her family’s home on the windy Ireland coast, Grania Ryan tries to break away from a crumbled relationship in New York City by throwing herself into the life of a unique eight-year-old girl named Aurora.

Despite the constant warning from her mother to avoid the Lisle family and Dunworley House, Grania finds herself falling in love with Aurora, who is desperate for female affection after her mother’s suicide. Grania agrees to watch the child while Aurora’s father, Alexander, is away on business. As Grania tries to push thoughts of her ex out of her head, the sight of Alexander intrigues her more and more. But does she have feelings for him, or is it just because she cares deeply for his young daughter?

In hopes of deterring her own daughter from spending so much time at the Dunworley House, Grania’s mother Kathleen begins telling the story of the family’s past: and how being involved with the Lisle family has ultimately ended in heartbreak for their family for generations.

If The Girl on the Cliff were a person, it would have a sweet, warm disposition and an unfortunate case of personality disorder. At the start of the novel, I genuinely thought the story unfolding was a mystery/ghost story. While the actual plot kept my interests peaked throughout, I still caught myself wondering when the ghost story was going to come back into play.

While I enjoyed the book and the story of the family lineage overall, there was one section of the novel that just didn’t quite work for me. The driving force behind Grania’s time in Ireland was one of the biggest plot points, kept secret for the majority of the book, but when revealed, the reason was just not sufficient enough to support the story that it creates.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Since graduating from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Professional Writing, Jenn works as a freelance writer, poet, and blogger at south of sheridan. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, and loves baking, crafting, and anything that requires a hot glue gun.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Atria Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.