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 friend.
If only she lived at The Cliff House…
Amanda Jennings weaves a haunting tale of obsession, loss and longing, set against the brooding North Cornish coastline, destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned.
The Cliff House was published on the 17th May 2018 by HQ. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book for this review.
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 1980’s 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 hasn’t had the easiest of lives therefore is completely transfixed by their idyllic and glamorous lifestyle in the house that she is wishing that she lived in. Tamsyn makes friends with Edie Davenport, and begins to infiltrate their lives as well as spending more and more time at Cliff House. It is like Tamsyn lives two lives, her actual life with her mum along with their struggles as well as her dream life as part of a well-off family living in a beautiful house.
The setting of the book is absolutely perfect, it is both beautiful and haunting. The house is somewhat isolated which reflects how Tamsyn feels, she is lonely and desperate to be a part of Cliff House and its perfect family…although the cracks start to show.
Once again, Jennings’ writing is beautiful and draws you in from the start. I finished this book some time ago but it’s subject and the writing style stays with me. I can still see in my mind Tamsyn spying on the house from her vantage point and the image of her walking along the coastal walks. The reader is truly transported to Cornwall.
Cliff House is as much of a character as the people themselves – the presence that it has over the cliff adds to the atmospherics of the story and gives it a gothic edge. As for the other characters, I cannot say I completely liked any of them but there were parts of each of them I did like and could understand why their flaws were there, what made them act in the way they did. All of the characters were well developed and their individual flaws added to the overall tone and atmospherics of the book.
The Cliff House is an absolute page turner but not because of its fast pace – it is actually a chilling slow burn of a read which truly makes you feel on edge throughout the book! I adored this book from start to finish, it is wonderfully atmospheric and a completely hypnotic read!
Amanda Jennings writes psychological suspense and is the author of Sworn Secret, which was published in the UK, US and Italy. It was an Amazon kindle Top 5 bestseller in the UK, a Top 100 bestseller in the US, and reached the number 1 spot in Italy. Her second book, The Judas Scar, was published in 2014 and optioned shortly after by a UK film and television production company. In Her Wake, is her most recently published book. It’s set in Cornwall, where her mother’s side of the family is from, and where she spent long and very happy childhood summers. Amanda is a regular guest on BBC Berkshire’s weekly Book Club and enjoys meeting readers at libraries, book clubs and literary festivals. She writes a blog and is active on Twitter. She lives just outside Henley-on-Thames with her husband, three daughters and an unruly menagerie of pets.