Monday, 25 June 2018

The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings

The Cliff House
By Amanda Jennings
Published by HQ Stories (17 May 2018)
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher

Publisher's description
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…

My verdict
I'm a huge fan of Amanda Jennings' books - her exquisite prose, amazing sense of place and sharp believable dialogue. The Cliff House is yet another stunning read - a superb psychological thriller that will stay with you afterwards.

This is a story of parental love and families, mother-daughter relationships, jealousy, grief and possession. It looks at the devastating aftermath of tragedy, and how easily our experiences and memories can be distorted by our own thoughts and also by the people around us. This book is very much about ownership, of places as well as people, and a reminder that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

The Cliff House is chilling from the start, with a sense of impending doom. I could guess how it was going to end - but had no idea who, what, how or why. This book reminded me not to believe everything that's on the page, and that you often have to read between the lines, as well as the words themselves, to really get to the heart of what's going on.

Amanda Jennings' gorgeous, vivid descriptions made me believe I was there in Cornwall, swimming in that pool overlooking the sea. While the book is very much character-led, its title 'The Cliff House' is also very apt, as the house has a significant influence on the lives (and interactions) of all of the main characters. I didn't actually realise how much the characters had touched me until I noticed tears in my eyes at the end.

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