Wednesday, January 22, 2014

G240 Book Review of The House on the Cliff by Charlotte Williams

Name of Book: The House on the Cliff

Author: Charlotte Williams

ISBN: 978-0-06-228457-0

Publisher: Bourbon Street Books

Type of book: Mystery, Wales, England, modern times, relationships, cheating, double standard, death, murder

Year it was published: 2014


One woman's quest to discover the dark secret at the heart of a family

Actor Gwydion Morgan's dramatic appearance at Jessica Mayhew's psychotherapy practice coincides with a turbulent time in her own life - her husband has just revealed that he's spent the night with a much younger woman. Gwydion, son of the famous Evan Morgan, is good looking and talented but mentally fragile, tormented by an intriguing phobia. Jessica is determined to trace the cause of his distress. So when his mother phones to say he is suicidal, Jessica decides to make a house call. The Morgans live in a grand cliff-top mansion overlooking a rocky bay with its own private jetty. It's a remote and somewhat sinister place. On her visit, Jessica finds out that an au pair who looked after Gwydion as a child drowned in the bay in mysterious circumstances. Could it be that Gwydion witnessed her death? In her quest to help her client, Jessica finds herself becoming embroiled in the Morgans' poisonous family dynamic. At the same time, she has to deal with the demands of her own domestic life: her struggle to keep her marriage intact, as well as her older daughter's increasingly defiant behaviour. And then, of course, there is the growing attraction she feels towards her new client . . .


Jessica Mayhew, the main character of the novel as well as the protagonist has potential to be an interesting character, but unfortunately she tends to fail for me. She is best described as headstrong, resourceful and intelligent which should have made her a compelling character,but I guess the problems overshadowed me liking her. For one thing there is really lack of chemistry between her and another guy, and I also think that she and other characters hardly seemed well rounded.


All fears have origins


Its written in first person narrative from Jessica Mayhew's point of view. The book does introduce other subplots beside the fear of buttons such as the troubles between Jessica and her husband as well as one of her daughters growing up and making decisions that Jessica doesn't want her to make. I guess I hoped it would be a Gothic novel of sort, at least the cover promises that much, but it wasn't. I'm sorry that the book was a miss for me instead of a hit.

Author Information:
(from TLC)

After studying philosophy in college, Charlotte Williams went on to work as an arts journalist, writing for newspapers and magazines, and making documentaries for the BBC. She now works in radio drama, writing original plays and adaptations.
Visit Charlotte at her website.


In the recent past I've had positive experiences with reading mysteries and thrillers, at least when it came to The Alligator Man tour I've done back in November, or Night Game back in June, thus I hoped it would be the same experience with The House on the Cliff, but it wasn't. I really can't quite put my finger on why I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. I liked psychology parts of the book as well as interesting background and the fact its set in Wales and not in England. Perhaps some parts of the book were confusing for me, and I guess I found some of the romances a bit disturbing. I still am confused how buttons played into the role, and there seems to be lack of tension in the book. I also felt a bit removed from the characters and couldn't really connect or like anyone.

This is for TLC Book Tour

Charlotte’s Tour Stops

Wednesday, January 8th: Why Girls Are Weird
Thursday, January 9th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, January 13th: The Infinite Shelf
Tuesday, January 14th: Dwell in Possibility
Wednesday, January 15th: Must Read Faster
Thursday, January 16th: A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, January 21st: Giraffe Days
Wednesday, January 22nd: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, January 27th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, January 28th: BoundbyWords

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

1 comment:

  1. Darn, I'm sorry this one wasn't your cup of tea, but thanks for being on the tour!


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