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The Cliff House

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  668 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Some friendships are made to be broken

Cornwall, summer of 1986.

The Davenports, with their fast cars and glamorous clothes, living the dream in a breathtaking house overlooking the sea.

If only thinks sixteen-year-old Tamsyn, her binoculars trained on the perfect family in their perfect home.

If only her life was as perfect as theirs.

If only Edie Davenport would be her
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published May 17th 2018 by HQ
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  668 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Miriam Smith
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Hmmm. I'm not sure if I actually enjoyed reading "The Cliff House" by Amanda Jennings or not.
I found the story to be very slow and repetitive and after devouring and thoroughly enjoying the author's previous book "In Her Wake", I felt quite let down and disappointed. However, the characters did get under my skin, even the unreliable narrators and the last quarter of the book did bring some excitement. I never wanted to not read it to the end or skip any pages but I wasn't exactly bowled over
Louise Wilson
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story is set in the 1980's in Cornwall. Sixteen year old Tamsyn is obessed with the Cliff House and the Davenport family. Tamsyn's family struggle while the Davenport's seem to have it all. Tamsyn. E comes friends with Evie Davenport and Tamsyn gets a chance to see what life is like art he Cliff House. Tamsyn's family see close but money is tight. Her father had been lost at sea six years ago. Evie is the black sheep of her family.

None of the characters in this story are likeable but it's
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
THE CLIFF HOUSE is Amanda Jennings fourth novel and my first of her titles. Set in Cornwall, the descriptions are truly beautiful and you really feel as though you are actually there. The story has a lot of different strands that the author weaves together admirably, so the book is never tedious. It is genuinely haunting and dark with a deeply deceptive plot that is twisty from start to finish. I will remember the descriptions of the North Cornish coastline vividly in my mind for a long time to ...more
Sixteen year-old Tamsyns obsession with The Cliff House, and the family who use it as their weekend haunt, is rooted in the precious memories she has of illicit visits there with her beloved father on their frequent cliff-top walks. The Cliff House has come to embody everything she desires, filling the gaps she feels in her life and the sense of displacement from other people, even her loving mother and brother. But here, at The Cliff House, the colours were exaggerated, the light brighter, the ...more
Louise Beech
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I always know I'm safe in Jennings' poetic hands, and she didn't let me down. The Cliff House (I briefly lived in a place called The Cliff as a kid, but it certainly wasn't as glamorous!) is a sensual and simmering novel set during the summer of 1986. Though perhaps not as twisty and turny as her previous - the gripping bestseller In Her Wake - this novel is Jennings' most beautiful, and her characters just pulsated off the page. Some of the description is breathtaking. I didn't just read it; I ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
An author who can set a book in a place close to home that I know very well and at a time when I could have been there, when I could have brushed shoulders with one of her characters, and hold me through the whole story without ever doubting that her characters lived and breathed, that the events she writes about happened, is an author I am very glad to have met.

It takes more than authenticity to make a good book of course, and this book has much more than that. It has a wonderful understanding
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A haunting and beautifully written literary novel which brings that gorgeous stretch of Cornish coast, which I know and love so much, to life. Angst, despair, love and loss resonate through the novel. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in 1980s Cornwall and told from various perspectives, The Cliff House could quite possibly be one of the most unsettling novels Ive ever read.

Sixteen year old Tamsyn is utterly obsessed with The Cliff House and the Davenport family. Tamsyn doesnt have it easy. Her family is struggling but the Davenports seem to be living the dream with their stunning house, flashy cars and oozing glamour. Tamsyn has yet to learn that all the money in the world doesnt buy you happiness. Striking up an
Liz Fenwick
A haunting story with the moral ambiguity of du Maurier. Sea scented air filled with sunlight and menace ...brilliant
Christina McDonald
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Haunting and evocative, The Cliff House is beautifully and elegantly told with gorgeous, lyrical prose and an eerie, almost nostalgic storyline. It's one of those books that you just want to savour, rather than race through, because every page feels like you're actually there, feeling the sun on your skin and dipping your toes in the pool.

Throughout the book you can feel the beauty of the Cornish coast around you as a sense of trouble and impending doom broods. With authentically written
Michelle Ryles
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
Amanda Jennings is a new author for me, although I did buy a copy of In Her Wake quite some time ago; it's sitting in my bookcase winking at me right now and I'm silently promising to read it soon. I suppose I am in quite a good position to review The Cliff House as I cannot compare it to Amanda Jennings' previous works, but I'm struggling to start my review as I feel slightly breathless and completely bereft since turning the final page and the only word that comes to mind is 'WOW'. So here's ...more
Julie Lacey
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book intrigued me and Im glad I got the opportunity to read it.
Tamsyn watches The Cliff House through her binoculars and fantasises about the people who live there and is desparate to get more of an insight into their perfect lives.
The family that lives there now and again comes to stay for the Summer, and Tamsyn makes friends with their daughter Edie, who is also sixteen.
The girls strike up a great friendship but Tamsyns Mum is wary as she is the cleaner for the family, and knows deep
Liz Barnsley
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully haunting and evocative tale of loss, love, friendship and obsession here from Amanda Jennings. With the beautiful writing I've come to expect from her.

Full review nearer to publication.
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it

Visit the locations in the novel

Well this was an unsettling read! A childish obsession with rich neighbours turns into something more. Shes upset yet curious of the posh family who take up residence in the rental villa the Cliff House where her mother cleans. The daughter of the family soon becomes a friend but she is the black sheep of the family. The mother on the other hand is very demanding and act and theren theres the fatherwhat a bunch they turned out to be!

The writing is luscious and
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book of Amanda Jennings I have read. The Cliff house is a beautifully written novel that describes area of the Cornish coastline and the nature that lives there.
The story is set in the 1980s Tamsyn lives in a small Cornish cottage with her mother, her brother Jago and her grandfather. Her father died 6 years previously drowned off the Cornish coast when Tamsyn was 10 and she hasnt quite got over it. She is a loner at school and quite timid for her age. She spends her days up on
Kaisha (The Writing Garnet)
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All reviews can be found on my blog at

There is one thing being asked to kick off a blog tour full stop, but then there is another thing being asked to kick off the blog tour for an author you admire not only for her literary skills, but also for her presence, views and the way that she has her tea. Yes, I am being serious. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they drink their tea, and let me tell you now, Amanda Jennings is my type of person its
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book reviews on

Told from varying perspectives, The Cliff House is an atmopsheric, magnificent and at times emotional story of a young girl who desperately wants to be accepted, and doesn't realise that money really doesn't equal happiness.

This is the first novel I've read by Amanda Jennings, and I have to say I'm so impressed at the way that she creates such a sense of time and place (mainly Cornwall in the 1960s), as well as evoking the drama and strife that the Davenports
Vikki Patis
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Cliff House is the second novel I've read by Amanda Jennings. As an honourary Cornishwoman, I love diving into a book set in my beloved Cornwall.

Set in the 1980s, The Cliff House is a coming of age story about the delicate, passionate friendship between teenage girls. Think Girls On Fire, Mean Girls, 13 Minutes. Set against the beautiful, dramatic backdrop of Cornwall, in amongst places I know and love - Sennen, Botallack (emphasis on the t and the first a, thank you very much), St Just -
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Cliff House is Amanda Jennings fourth novel and after reading In Her Wake (published by Orenda Books in April 2016) I could not wait to reacquaint myself with Jennings beautiful writing and locations.

The Cliff House transports its reader to 1980s Cornwall where sixteen-year-old Tamsyn is obsessed with The Cliff House and absolutely fascinated by the Davenports. Tamsyn has always been intrigued by the property given its prominent and beautiful setting overlooking the sea. Tamsyn hasnt had
Misfits farm
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tamsyn lives with her Mother, Grandfather and brother in a small house in Cornwall. She has always admired and watched through binoculares the Cliff house where her mother works as a cleaner. One day she goes over to fetch something and is astonished when she meets a girl of her own age. Edie is the daughter of the owners who Tamsyn never knew existed. When they strike up a friendship she is over the moon. This is the story of their summer in 1986 . Occasional chapters give a glimpse of now. ...more
Jacob Collins
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All of my reviews can be found at: https://hookedfrompageoneblog.wordpre...

I became a huge fan of Amanda Jennings writing when I read her previous novel, In Her Wake, nearly two years ago now, so I was excited to see what her follow up would be. The Cliff House is an evocative and mesmerizing piece of fiction with a dark undercurrent. Amanda makes the setting feel so real, and she draws you into Cornish landscape, I could easily picture the scenery around me.

Sixteen-year-old Tamsyn has always
Cheryl M-M
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Cliff House is so many things, it isnt just a psychological thriller, it is a coming-of-age meets a family coping with grief and the hard realities of living below the breadline story. When you put all those components together and add a layer or difference of socioeconomic status between two friends, thats when you can see the cracks start to appear in the seemingly innocent story of a young lonely girl.

A girl almost consumed with grief after the death of her father, despite the fact it has
Claire Watson
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed The Cliff House. As Lisa Jewell states, its a beautiful, stirring story of loss and obsession.

On one hand we have Tamsyn. She lives with her brother, grandfather and mother Angie. Angie works for the Davenports, cleaning up at Cliff House. The Davenports seem to have everything and Tamsyn spends her days spying on them with binoculars. She thinks their lives are perfect and wants nothing more than their daughter Edie to be her friend.

Beautifully written and a fabulously
Lucy Hay
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A storm of a book: as tumultuous, deep and dark as the Cornish sea in winter. Recommended.
The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings is a wonderfully haunting and evocative tale of love, friendship, loss, and obsession.

The reader is introduced to the Davenports - a family of privilege, with their fast cars and glamorous clothes, living the dream in their breathtaking house overlooking the sea, known as the Cliff House.

Then there's Tamsyn, sixteen years old and living in a modest house with her mum, brother and grandfather, her dad having died at sea six years ago. Tamsyn hates her
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweepingly romantic, dark and compelling, this book is Poldark for anybody who wanted a bit more bite from their summer reading.

The Cliff House was a book that drew me in straight from the beginning, and the house of the title is what the entire story revolves around: the favourite haunt of Tamsyn, a local girl whose dead father loved the building, and the summer house of Edie Davenport, the child of a broken family, whos been put there while her parents figure out what to do with her. Cue a
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Cliff House is a dark tale of obsessive love but unusually, the object of desire isn't a person but a thing: the house itself. It has always been a very significant place for Tamsyn who used to go there with her father when she was younger. He always said that one day they would live there.  There are touching scenes between Tamsyn and her father as she recalls time spent birdwatching with him. After his tragic death, Tamsyn watches the owners, the Davenports, and thinks their life is ...more
Karen Mace
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you love your books dark and unnerving, then look no further! This was a fabulously gripping read that I just couldn't put down as you just kept wondering how it was all going to pan out! It just showed how the nature of obsession can completely take over until it's all too late!

Tamsyn became obsessed with The Cliff House through her late, beloved father. They used to creep in and spend time there together and it became a dream world for her. Then when a new family - The Davenports - moved
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Devastating and deliciously dark, The Cliff House is less wish-fulfilment and more of a clever and disturbing reminder that things are rarely (if ever) how they appear on the surface.

What starts as a heady summer of escape and friendship on the North Cornwall coast soon takes a decidedly darker turn, one as black as the swimming pool around which much of the action takes place, in this novel of contrasts.

Tamsyn and Edies families illustrate the conflicting interests: locals looking for work and
Fiona Mccormick
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully written, evocative, coming of age story, set in Cornwall in 1986. The setting is just wonderful and I could just picture the art deco house sitting on the cliff and the long hot summer days at the coast. I loved Tamsyn's family, her mother who works two jobs to support her family after the tragic death of her father, the grandpa suffering from lung disease who spends his days doing jigsaws, and the brother who at first seems like a bit of a waster, but the more you read, ...more
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Amanda is mother to three daughters and lives in chaotic contentment just outside Henley-on-Thames with a houseful of pets and a husband. She is the author of three books, Sworn Secret, The Judas Scar and In Her Wake. She is currently working on her fourth, another psychological thriller set in West Cornwall.

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“Her father was alive. He didn't drown at sea. He wasn't rotted to bones and wisps of hair in a box in an overcrowded graveyard. Edie's life was dipped in gold. How could she ever understand?” 1 likes
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