This heartwarming fast read by Rae Anne Thayne is the story of family dynamics and finding true love. The characters in “The Cliff House” are well developed, you feel like you know them personally and find yourself cheering them on.
When we meet Stella she is in her 40s, teaching school, finally pregnant after several tries at artificial insemination. Stella has never married; she broke off her engagement to the love of her life, Ed Clayton, during college.
Around that time, Stella's sister had overdosed leaving her two daughters in the care of the California foster system. Stella arranged to adopt the girls, Daisy and Beatriz Davenport, but abandoned Ed so that he could attend medical school without the burden of raising Stella’s nieces.
For the past 20 years, Stella has fostered another 20 children and founded Open Hearts, an organization that raises awareness and provides support for the California foster system. Stella doesn’t share the fact that she is pregnant with her now grown nieces. On top of everything else that’s happening in Stella’s life, her old beau, Ed Clayton, has moved back to town.
Meanwhile, Daisy and Bea have grown into two very different women. When she was 17, Bea ran off and married Cruz Romero. He was one of Stella’s foster children, but is now a popular rock star. Bea and Cruz have an 11-year-old daughter. Bea is an artist with a new love interest. Yet, Cruz wants more than anything to reunite with her.
Daisy is the older of the two sisters, a financially prudent accountant who doesn’t take risks and keeps the family in order. She also has a secret—a mysterious one connected to a man who saved Cruz from being attacked and discovered her studio on a nearby cliff.
As the story progresses the three women find themselves falling in love. Although all of their romances are predictable you still find yourself cheering them on, hoping they find their illusive happiness. “The Cliff House” is a story of family, of secrets, trust, motherhood, and starting over. I really enjoyed this novel and its characters.