By D. E. Stevenson
The House on the Cliff Is a simple sweet story of how a girl out of place finds her place. Young Elfrida has been drained by being in the wrong profession, infatuated with the wrong man, and by the death of her beloved mother. When she inherits a lonely house on the Devonshire seaside, she recovers her spirit and her health and finds the right man for her.
What makes it compelling and charming is its sense of place and time, and the deft characterizations including the growth of our shy heroine. She is challenged by a greedy relative, gentile poverty, and the re-emergence of the heartthrob she had a crush on in London. This guy turns out to be a real piece of work and is one of the most interesting if hiss-worthy characters in the book. What rescues it from a run of the mill light romance is an overlay of the sadness of lost opportunity and the fate of an emotionally abused and ill-treated young boy. The happy ending has few remaining wisps that could have been incorporated into a sequel. I would have loved to read about young Patrick 10 or 12 years down the road.**3 1/2 stars out of 5**
March 16, 2019