Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Girl on the Cliff” as Want to Read:
The Girl on the Cliff
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Girl on the Cliff

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  11,693 ratings  ·  929 reviews

Why has a secret from 1914 caused a century of heartache?

Troubled by 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 a 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

Kindle Edition, 576 pages
Published October 27th 2011 by Penguin (first published 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Girl on the Cliff, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,693 ratings  ·  929 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I cannot really share all the excitement of the other reviews. It's not like I didn't like the book. I just think it was overly dramatic at times, tended to be a little too unrealistic sometimes and was just very sentimental. Moreover I think that the character of Aurora was just completely unauthentic, I could not connect to her at all. Even though she was supposed to be an 'old soul', her thoughts were way to mature, with the author desperately trying to make her sound like a child.

At times,
Marcia Killingsworth
Mar 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE.
Recommended to Marcia by: Goodreads
This is an unforgivably, irredeemably rotten book. "The Girl on the Cliff" is set in Ireland and weaves together both contemporary and historical plot-lines.

The best use of this book is as a drinking game; it is otherwise useless. Truly.

The game: Take a drink every time an American character says "real" instead of "really," and another when an Irish character calls someone "pet." And chug the contents of your glass for the countless malapropisms, e.g. emotions that go *up and down, like a pendu
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to TL by: don't remember
Shelves: favorites
“I believe that our lives, just like fairy tales - the stories that have been written by us humans, through our own experiences of living - will always have a Hero and a Heroine, a Fairy Godmother and a Wicked Witch.”

A lovely beautiful story with haunting and ethereal tones to it. Grania and Aurora meet by chance on the cliffs and from there unfolds a friendship and connection she didn't expect. She soon learns their families histories are more tangled than either her or Aurora knew.

There are tw
Charlie Brown
Aug 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was appalled by this book and cannot believe it was published by Penguin.

Luckily I only paid 20p for it at a carboot sale but to be honest I even begrudge paying that.

Some possible spoilers below - but they illustrate just some of the reasons why I found this book so dreadful...

There is a complete lack of cohesion between the multitude of storylines; one is meant to be told through a series of letters, which the heroine is given to read, but is delivered through a hefty piece of narrative wit
Carolyn Hill
Mar 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Two and a half stars, rounded up. I was attracted to this book by elements I typically can't resist - a setting on the coast of Ireland, multiple time frames from the present back to WWI and decades between, two families intricately linked through the generations, an old estate home on a cliff above the sea and another mansion in London, and a bit of a Gothic flavor with mysterious orphaned children, suicide, and hints of ghosts. This definitely falls in the Kate Morton vein of what I call new G ...more
Nov 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Girl on the Cliff published by Penguin ticks all of my favourites in a book. It's a story told in a dual time narrative, it's a story of family relationships, it's a romance and at times it's a tragedy. With almost 450 pages in the paperback edition, it's a hefty read but I found myself flying through it.
There are three main female characters; Aurora - the Girl on the Cliff; Grania - the modern-day heroine and Mary, who was Grania's Great-Grandmother.
Grania has fled her life in New York af
Rating: 4.5 stars

This book has a real ethereal quality to it. Aurora, the girl on the cliff, and Grania, back in Ireland after ten years away, are drawn together through grief and circumstance, and in doing so, the past lives of the Lisles (Aurora’s family) and the Ryans (Grania’s family) are brought back to the fore.

The families entangled histories, which resulted in a bitter feud, started 100 years earlier when Mary began working as a parlour maid for the wealthy Lisles. Baby Anna is entrusted
Joanne D'Arcy
Oct 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Lucinda Riley’s first book Hothouse Flower was excellent, her second surpasses that; something which many authors struggle to do.

This is a book where its core theme is love both with the present story and the past story which is told to us by Aurora the girl on the cliff. Aurora opens the story telling us as a readers she is going to tell her story, that of the past and the present and the intervening years and she is going to tell it despite unhappy occurrences and struggles of her many relativ
Dec 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dual-timeline
The only times I've given a 1 star rating was when I disliked a book so much I didn't even finish it. Given that I only finished this one for a challenge and would for sure have abandonded it otherwise, I think I can make an exception. Ah, maybe I should give it 1.5, because I could have stopped reading and didn't. I was just so interested to know what bizarre thing the author would come up with next!

Boy, was this bad, the present-day story at least. For a while I reasoned the storyline set in
Mermaid Undine
Aug 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
oh god I don't know why I'm still reading this , oh yeah the library doesn't open until tuesday.

aurora is annoying, swings from being immature and needy to manipulative. i was rather hoping her father would turn out to be a vampire (pale, grey, skeletal - surely a vampire?) nope just dying and not man enough to tell anyone denying them a chance to come to terms with whats happening.grania/matt/charley just a huge cliche, one of those ones that if they just sat down and talked to each other like
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Once again I find myself a 1-star girl in a sea of (mostly) 5-star reviews.

Where to begin?

I could maybe forgive the stilted dialogue -- especially when Ms. Riley portrayed young, modern American characters -- and perhaps forgive the blindingly obvious manipulations of Charley. Less forgivable were the Hallmark Channel smarmy/absurd story line (full of convenient coincidences), what an irritating, creepy kid Aurora was (couldn't stand her myself), the childish relationship between Matt and Grania
Minty McBunny
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, march-2014

This book started out promisingly enough. Aurora's segments addressing the reader were annoying, but the story itself was engaging enough, particularly Mary's story (though why it was presented to Grania as letters but then not told in epistolary form, and included way more details than would have been shared with a fiancé's mother is beyond me).

But then, in the last portion of the book, it just got ridiculous. Grania's reason for leaving Matt was ridiculous, if they'd been togethe
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Dunworley Bay, West Cork, Ireland, London, parlor maids, orphans, a character with a sixth sense, castles, crashing waves, a family legacy, letters, and secrets....what else could you ask for?

All this and more is wrapped up in THE GIRL ON THE CLIFF. This book takes you away to the magic of life in 1914 in castles, normal households, and into the life of a family that leaves a legacy and many secrets for current-day folks to discover and secrets that reveal the family's history and who Anna real
Dec 04, 2011 rated it liked it
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 h
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was almost 4 stories in one. The novel starts out in present day with Grania having just lost a baby and having a fight with her long term boyfriend moves back home to Ireland. She had been working in New York and living with Matt. In Ireland she meets an 8 year old girl who is going to change her life in more than one way. The novel flashbacks to Grania's great grandmother and her own mother. The stories all relate so it is not confusing. A good story but I do prefer some of Lucinda ...more
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I must admit, The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley, isn’t necessarily a book I’ve been looking forward to; until I received it for review, I didn’t even know it was coming out. When my copy came, I wasn’t necessarily sure I’d read it; I’m not a historical fan in general, however sometimes it’s nice to take a chance on a book you wouldn’t ordinarily look twice at. Mostly, though, I just thought Aurora sounding enchanting and I was rather desperate to know exactly why the Ryans and Lisles were s ...more
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first novel I’ve read by Lucinda Riley and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The mysterious atmosphere of the Irish coast, the interplay between past and present, and the slowly unfolding connections between the characters was intriguing.

Multi-generational stories, where the existence of one character (or characters) is shown to reflect or be intertwined with those of past generations are popular right now and think Riley does justice to the genre.

A lot of times I get to the last 50 or so p
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
Giving this up as a DNF.
It really surprised me, as I've read a few of her other books and absolutely loved them. This one read like it was written by a totally different author. I don't see how someone who wrote such a rich and sumptuous story as The Hothouse Flower could have written this!!!
I will forgive her though, as the others I've read (Midnight Rose, The Italian Girl and Hothouse Flower) are just wonderful .
By no means has this book put me off the author (it was one of her earlier effor
Diane S ☔
This will appeal to many different types of reader. This is a family saga, with secrets, fates entwined all against a historical background. Many years are covered and the layers are slowly pealed away to reveal what these two families in Ireland meant to each other. I liked the majority of the characters, but did feel that the portrayal of Aurora as a child, mostly because of her speech patterns and the ways she viewed things, did not quite ring true. The novel though has a somewhat dreamy qual ...more
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2017-completed
New York, London, Ireland – with this triad of locales a story emerges over a period of one hundred years that is filled with mysteries and secrets involving the links, separations, and re-connections between two families. Lucinda Riley demonstrates in this book her great story-telling skills and the ability to unravel a patterned tapestry and then weave it all back together again with no threads dangling and a clearer perspective of the pattern. I highly recommend this very entertaining book to ...more
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Girl On The Cliff is a perfect combination of romance and intrigue, with characters crafted enough they seem to jump from the page into real life. I enjoyed it.
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having finished this book in record time, I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I adore Lucinda Reilly's writing, the story did mesmerise and it does grab you from the get go with its beautiful characters, family dynamics, and of course Ireland itself. There is always something magical about Lucinda's books, and this was no excetion.
It was written in a very strange format. The story's narrated by Aurora - who I thought was an old woman now reminiscing about her life and family history.
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Travel to Ireland with Lucinda Riley in this tale of family secrets over the years. Stunning locations and settings and a saga spanning decades.

The small figure was standing perilously close to the edge of the cliff. Her luxuriant, long read hair had been caught by the strong breeze and was flying out behind her

And we are immediately transported to the cliff in Ireland where we meet Aurora with the scene set with such passion and evocative writing that you can also feel the wind in your hair and
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I've done a lot of low ratings the last couple of weeks. I had high hopes for this book, but they were not fulfilled. It is kind of like a Kate Morton book in that it starts in present day and then tells a story in the past and goes back and forth between the two. I thought the plot was interesting. I really liked the main character (except for her stupid pride) and the narrator, but the main love interest annoyed the heck out of me. I don't know where the author learned how Americans talk, ...more
Marcia Killingsworth
Mar 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE!!!!
Recommended to Marcia by: Goodreads
This is an unforgivably, irredeemably rotten book. "The Girl on the Cliff" is set in Ireland and weaves together both contemporary and historical plot-lines.

The best use of this book is as a drinking game; it is otherwise useless. Truly.

The game: Take a drink every time an American character says "real" instead of "really," and another when an Irish character calls someone "pet." And chug the contents of your glass for the countless malapropisms, e.g. emotions that go *up and down, like a pendu
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
There's one thing you have to know about books by Lucinda Riley: at the end, the girl will always get her boy and the secret will always be revealed.

But the way in between and what the secret is... that's what's so interesting.

I bought Girl On The Cliff on a whim, because I had read her first book Hothouse Flower and liked it. I'm usually not into these kind of books. But Hothouse Flower sounded intriguing and had not let me down.

And now Girl On The Cliff.

I have to say that the secret was not as
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am yet to read a book by Lucinda Riley that I haven't enjoyed enormously (this was my third by her but my first standalone). This book I think is the best of them that I have read so far and it really moved me in a number of places. Such sadness at places in the book that brought tears to the eyes! This book is a mixture of the current story of Aurora and Grania in Ireland, and the back story of their descendants. I thought this was a great book and was just expecting it to wrap up, when wham! ...more
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

It's the first book I read of Riley. I must admit that as it was a nice and smooth reading is not impressed as I thought I did. At first I thought it would be more engaging, while at the end turned out to be only a good read. That said, I'll read other books of this author hoping that they will be more exciting :)

Primo libro che leggo della Riley. Devo ammettere che per quanto sia stata una lettura piacevole e scorrevole non mi ha entusiasmata come credevo. All'inizio pensavo c
Apr 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
This is a hard one to review...I felt the author was most fluid when she was telling Mary's story so that made it easier to read. When she was in the American's voices - she was pretty bad. I'm thinking she is not that familiar with Americans and the way we talk. I can't say that I especially liked Grania - her reason for leaving was so lame it was laughable...and Matt - Jeesh!!! Oh well..on to the next book!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 4 Aug 28, 2015 05:12PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Place of Secrets
  • The Legacy
  • The House of the Wind
  • Lighthouse Bay
  • Every Secret Thing
  • Bristol House
  • Alma Rebelde
  • The Lost Hours
  • That Autumn in Edinburgh
  • Der Himmel über Darjeeling
  • The General's Mistress (Numinous World, #4)
  • The Last Camellia
  • Mariana
  • The Mermaid Garden
  • The House at Tyneford
See similar books…
AKA: Lucinda Edmonds
Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland, and after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four. Her books have been translated into over thirty five languages and sold twenty million copies worldwide. She is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.

Lucinda is currently writing The Seven Sisters series, which tells the story
“I believe that our lives, just like fairy tales - the stories that have been written by us humans, through our own experiences of living - will always have a Hero and a Heroine, a Fairy Godmother and a Wicked Witch.” 35 likes
“It's amazing how beauty can mask so many flaws” 11 likes
More quotes…