Wow. I’ll just start with the word “mesmerising” to sum this book up. It was utterly spell binding from start to finish.
Set over the summer holidays, Tamsyn becomes attached to the Davenports, wanting to fill every spare minute at their house on the cliff. The family are, of course, fascinating as they’re out-of-towners but Tamsyn’s obsession with the cliff house runs much deeper -she sees it as a link to her father.
The sun’s heat, the pool, the ice creams, the lazy mornings… Jennings describes it all so vividly that I felt as if I was experiencing a school summer holiday all over again.
The tagline on the cover “Bad things happen in beautiful places” sets you up to know something will happen, and with the added perspective from “adult Tamsyn”, you know she’s haunted by the events of that summer… but when will Jennings release it? The build up was handled so beautifully that I was completely absorbed by Tamsyn’s homelife and her increasing infatuation with the Davenports, which meant when it all kicked off… it took me by surprise, I was sucker punched!
Like Tamsyn and her binos, I enjoyed watching the family and seeing their traits begin to reveal. Jennings’ clever characterisation played a key part in this plot, as each of the Davenports held so many glorious secrets that unraveled in the most satisfying way. The focus isn’t all on the Davenports though; Tamsyn’s home is a place where grief seems to have rooted itself strong, making it difficult for anyone to move on… without it flaring up the grief of others.
This is an outstanding story that takes you to Cornwall and lets you live and breathe these characters for 369 pages. It focuses heavily on teenage obsessions and coaxes out both the highs and lows that it brings with it, in the most hauntingly vivid way. Having read this in a day, it’s easy to say it captivated me and gripped me throughout.
A “must add” to your collection!
The Cliff House is out now in hardback and eBook versions by HQ.
I managed to grab a free copy of this book at a HQ event, I chose to review it here on my blog so you could all discover this MESMERISING book!
Until next time, Chloé x