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The House on the Cliff

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The House on the Cliff Cover

ISBN13: 9780062284570
ISBN10: 0062284576
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Jessica Mayhew is a sharp, successful therapist with a thriving practice and loving family. But the arrival of a new client, actor Gwydion Morgan, coincides with a turbulent moment in her life: her husband has just confessed to a one-night stand with a younger woman. The son of a famous stage director, Gwydion is good-looking and talented but mentally fragile, tormented by an intriguing phobia. When Jessica receives a frantic call warning that he is suicidal, she decides to make a house call.

The Morgans live in a grand clifftop mansion overlooking the rocky Welsh coast. It seems to be a remote paradise, but there's something sinister about it too: Jessica learns that the family's former au pair drowned in the bay under mysterious circumstances. In her quest to help Gwydion, to whom she's grown increasingly attached, Jessica becomes ensnared in the Morgan family mystery, which soon becomes an explosive public scandal—one that puts her directly in harm's way. Meanwhile, Jessica is doing her best to keep her marriage and family together, but her growing attraction to Gwydion is impossible to ignore.

Smart, stylish, and suspenseful, The House on the Cliff announces the arrival of a winning female protagonist in Jessica Mayhew and an exciting new crime writer in Charlotte Williams.

Review:

"In British journalist Williams's uneven first novel and series opener, Welsh psychotherapist Jessica Mayhew finds herself strangely drawn to Gwydion Morgan, a handsome, anxiety-ridden actor who needs her help banishing a crippling fear of buttons (known as koumpounophobia). When Jessica discovers that Gwydion's former au pair, Elsa Lindberg, died in a tragic drowning accident, her interest is piqued, and she begins researching Gwydion's complicated home life. Meanwhile, Jessica's teenage daughter is alternately sullen and rebellious, and her husband just confessed to sleeping with another woman. Jessica sees Gwydion as both a lover and a son, and later seriously contemplates having affairs with both him and his famous father, theater director Evan Morgan, to get back at her adulterous husband. The sympathetic Jessica makes up only in part for a clumsily wrought mystery, in which most of the plot twists are telegraphed too far in advance to have any real impact. Agent: Peter Straus, Rogers, Coleridge & White (U.K.)." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

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.

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The Lost Entwife, January 29, 2014 (view all comments by The Lost Entwife)
As I write this review I'm a bit confused by The House on the Cliff by Charlotte Williams. I don't know whether I would classify it as a mystery, or a romance, or women's literature, or a mixture of the three. If it is a mixture of the three, then that might be why it just.. fell completely flat for me. Rather than trying to do well at one of the styles, it attempted too much and the ultimate reveal and ending of the book was predicable, in fact I predicted it about halfway into the book, and not at all a reward for suffering through the novel.
I really hate writing reviews that reflect a negative view on a story, but I am really just upset that I wasted my time reading this one. I kept hoping there would be a surprise twist, some revelation that would make it all worth while but, in the meantime, I amused myself by trying to predict what awful decisions the protagonist would make in the meantime. Because when she made awful decisions, I do mean awful.

One of the things I look for in a good book is a protagonist that, when touted to be a good (insert profession here), they are good at their job. What I got in The House on the Cliff was a psychotherapist who may have been good at her job, but I never saw it. Instead, I saw bad decision after bad decision made and they all seemed to be "out of character," something that was impressed upon the reader during each bad decision move. I was beyond annoyed and really, by the time the book came to an end, I was cheering for an ending that showed off the darker side of my character, I'm afraid.

I can't say The House on the Cliff is one I would recommend. I'm sure there are others out there who might feel differently and all the credit to them, but it was just a big no for me. Give me a character who, when she does something out of character, allows me to see that it is out of character. I want to get a sense of the character by reading about him or here, not by being told by the author.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780062284570
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Williams, Charlotte
Publisher:
Bourbon Street Books
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20140107
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8 x 5.3125 x 0.900901 in 10.4 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Crime

The House on the Cliff Used Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages Bourbon Street Books - English 9780062284570 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In British journalist Williams's uneven first novel and series opener, Welsh psychotherapist Jessica Mayhew finds herself strangely drawn to Gwydion Morgan, a handsome, anxiety-ridden actor who needs her help banishing a crippling fear of buttons (known as koumpounophobia). When Jessica discovers that Gwydion's former au pair, Elsa Lindberg, died in a tragic drowning accident, her interest is piqued, and she begins researching Gwydion's complicated home life. Meanwhile, Jessica's teenage daughter is alternately sullen and rebellious, and her husband just confessed to sleeping with another woman. Jessica sees Gwydion as both a lover and a son, and later seriously contemplates having affairs with both him and his famous father, theater director Evan Morgan, to get back at her adulterous husband. The sympathetic Jessica makes up only in part for a clumsily wrought mystery, in which most of the plot twists are telegraphed too far in advance to have any real impact. Agent: Peter Straus, Rogers, Coleridge & White (U.K.)." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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