Aurora never left me. From the moment she stood on the cliff, her tiny figure in a wisp of thin material, I knew there was an element of magic in the story. Aurora, is of course the name of the Princess in Sleeping Beauty. In The Girl On The Cliff, however, there is less Disney and more of a mystery. It is a perfect marriage of love and tragic circumstance.
When I met Aurora, I thought she was remarkably intuitive and wise. There was something perfect and ethereal about her. Unfazed by death, yet tortured by the loss of her mother, she seemed to dance on air, her grace transcending through the pages into a living, breathing character. I closed my eyes and there she was beside me, as I traveled with Lucinda Riley’s words to Dunworley Bay in West Cork, Ireland. I was cold, almost immediately. The cliffs made my toes curl. My heart however, kept warm, as Aurora began her story. It is impossible to not fall in love with the proud, yet vulnerable Grania. Her character- the most exciting one- and all of its intricacies tied me inextricably to the story, which is interwoven with complex secrets from the past, so much so that it influences the present in ways that seem impossible. I could not put it down until I was done, two days later, bleary eyed and worn out, but happy. Grania’s family kept inviting me to tea and I just couldn’t let go.
Grania returns to the Coast of Ireland after ten years. Running away from her own relationship and pain, she moves in with her incredibly well-adjusted, sensible, warm and loving family. On one particularly windy day, Grania meets Aurora at the edge of the ‘cliff,’ terrified that Aurora would fall, Grania rescues her, well, in a sense. It is the beginning of the rest of their lives. They are drawn to each other as if a thirst has consumed them. They become almost inseparable. Grania’s entire life – in spite of all the warnings from her mam- is completely and almost devastatingly changed from that meeting with Aurora. They are strong characters, with a lot on their proverbial plates. Yet, them seem to take it in their stride, as long as one is with the other. They have huge parts to play in this sweeping tale of strength, loss, courage and love. Through child like intuition, Aurora rescues herself and Grania, as their story weaves back and forth from past to present. It is an unusual read, with some predictable areas, however, most remain disguised till the end and when you are done, you sigh with complete and utter relief.