Two families are at the center of this novel, which mostly takes place in contemporary Ireland, with a side story taking place in Ireland and England during and after World War I. Grania Ryan is a young woman who has fled New York City and her boyfriend, Matt, after suffering a miscarriage. She's arrived home in Ireland to stay with her parents on their farm. Her refusal to talk to Matt has left him confused and completely at a loss in New York. His hesitation in coming to Ireland to talk to Grania sets in motion a huge shake up in Grania's life.
Grania meets a young girl, Aurora on the cliffs near Dunworley House, a magnificent home owned by Aurora's father, Alexander. It has been in Aurora's family for decades, and holds many secrets and much unhappiness. Lily, Aurora's mother, jumped from the cliffs a few years before, and Aurora claims to see her mother wandering on the cliffs every night. Grania quickly becomes involved in Aurora's life, and finds herself agreeing to stay at Dunworley House while Alexander travels for business.
But all is not as it seems, and Grania's mother, Kathleen, soon tells the story of her great grandmother Mary, and her connection to Dunworley House and Aurora's family. It has brought nothing but pain to the Ryan family, and Grania is quickly finding herself unable to separate herself from Aurora despite warnings from her mother.
This was an interesting story about two families, their history, and what people do for love--both between a man and a woman, and between a woman and a child. Lucinda Riley combines ballet, Russian history, World War I, and contemporary New York together in a story that keeps you reading. Aurora is not your average child, and she is the one who moves the story along.
An entertaining story, with some sad moments, some uplifting moments, and I have to say some kind of sappy moments. But overall, it's an enjoyable read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about World War I, England, Ireland, and has an interest in family sagas.
Rating: 3/5 I found Grania a bit irritating in her desire to throw away her life in New York so easily; and Aurora--while a lovely character, was a bit too much to take sometimes.