The House Beneath the Cliffs by Sharon Gosling

Anna Campbell is looking for a fresh start when she buys Fishergirl’s Luck, a tiny cottage in Crovie on the north coast of Aberdeenshire, despite only having seen it in photographs. Freed from a long and emotionally abusive relationship with her celebrity chef partner, and coping with the grief following the recent death of her father, she needs time and space to work out what she wants to do next.   

At first she is unsure whether she has made the right decision in moving to this isolated village at the foot of the cliffs, but decides to at least stay long enough to smarten the house up with a view to renting it out later. As she gets to know the locals, and is accepted into this close-knit community, her decision becomes much harder.

The characters are well drawn and relatable, the setting is atmospheric and beautifully described, and the descriptions of the food Anna cooks will make your mouth water. It’s probably best not to read this on an empty stomach. She slowly regains faith in herself and her abilities, culinary and otherwise, and begins to feel hopeful about her future.  

I am always interested in reading books set in Scotland, particularly if I know the area. While living in Aberdeenshire many years ago, we took a trip to this part of the country lured by the prospect of visiting Pennan, just along the coast, where they filmed scenes for Local Hero, a popular movie at the time. The rugged coastline is magnificent on a bright summer’s day, but quite precarious, not to mention scary, in the middle of a winter storm, and Sharon Gosling really captures this in her writing.  

This is Sharon Gosling’s debut adult novel though she has previously written books aimed at young adults. I really enjoyed The House Beneath the Cliffs and will be on the lookout for her books in the future. Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.