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Previously called the Beach View Boarding House series.
What is the Cliffehaven series about?
Coming from British-based Australian author Ellie Dean (a pseudonym used by Tamara McKinley), Cliffehaven is a wartime saga set in Beach View Boarding House on the South coast of England.
Presented as a heart-warming Second World War saga, Cliffhaven explores the lives of the women and the hardships suffered by families in the close-knit community of Cliffhaven as the conflict progresses, with a mix of drama and romance.
Almost every book in the series focuses on a different protagonist, but there are a lot of recurring characters.
How to read the Cliffehaven Books in Order?
- There’ll Be Blue Skies (2011) – When sixteen-year-old Sally is evacuated to the English south coast, she is terrified by what lies ahead of her as she has to play mother to her six-year-old brother Ernie. When they arrive in Cliffehaven, they’re taken to live at the Beach View Boarding House where they’re welcomed by the open-hearted Reilly family headed up by warm, loving Peggy, and life begins to improve. Sally gets a job in a uniforms factory to help pay her way – and to pay for Ernie’s expensive medicines – but then her mother Florrie arrives in Cliffehaven, bringing disaster with her. And Sally is forced to work out where her true loyalties lie …
- Far From Home (2012) – It is 1940 and Staff Nurse Polly Brown has been granted a posting at Cliffehaven Memorial Hospital on the south coast to be near her badly injured husband, Adam. But her decision has meant that she has had to part with their beloved five-year-old daughter, Alice, who is traveling to safety in Canada. Polly’s heart is torn in two as she says goodbye to Alice and heads to the Beach View boarding house in Cliffehaven, where she throws herself into her work. But as she confronts the fact that Adam may not survive his injuries, a telegram arrives at Beach View. The boat Alice was on has been torpedoed by a German U-boat…
- Keep Smiling Through (2012) – June 1940. Rita Smith swore she would never lose heart … Despite losing her mother at a young age and her father away on important war work, seventeen-year-old Rita Smith has plenty of people to turn to in the close-knit community of Cliffhaven. Until Italy sides with Germany and Rita’s closest friends and neighbors are interned as enemies of the state. As war rages across Europe, Rita is more determined than ever to do her bit for the war effort. Although she is forced to give up her dream of joining the WAAF, she volunteers as a fire warden. When her own home is destroyed Rita vows she will not lose spirit and throws herself into doing her bit for king and country, longing for the day when she is reunited with those she loves best…
- Where the Heart Lies (2013) – February 1941. Julie Harris is working in London’s East End as a midwife when a bombing raid destroys her family and the house she grew up in. All she has left is her motherless baby nephew William. Determined to uphold her promise to her sister to keep William safe until his father, Bill, returns from the war, she accepts a post as a midwife in Cliffehaven on the south-coast of England. Here they are taken under the wing of the Reilly family at the Beach View boarding house. But all too soon Julie learns that Bill is ‘missing in action’ and William falls dangerously ill. As she begins the long vigil by William’s beside, she fears she will lose the little boy she has grown to love as her own…
- Always in my Heart (2013) – As the Japanese begin their assault on Singapore, Sarah Fuller is forced to leave her parents and fiancé, Philip, behind. The long journey to England is fraught with danger, and Sarah and her sister Jane don’t even know if their great-aunt is alive, let alone waiting for them. They arrive in Cliffehaven, on the south coast of England, and here Sarah must find work to support them both. When the Women’s Timber Corps takes over the local estate, Sarah enlists as a lumberjill. But as time goes on and the news of events in Singapore worsen, Sarah fears she will never see Philip and her parents again…
- All My Tomorrows (2014) – In defending herself against her brutal husband, eighteen-year-old Ruby Clark is forced to flee London. She has no idea where Cliffehaven is, or what she will find there, but she knows that she will never be able to return home again. At first, it seems she’s fallen on her feet. She gets a job at the local armaments factory, and the couple she is billeted with are kind and supportive. But when her host makes advances, Ruby is left homeless once more. Until Peggy Reilly welcomes her into the warmth of Beach View boarding house and Ruby dares to hope for a brighter future…
- Some Lucky Day (2014) – Kitty Pargeter loves the life she’s leading as a talented young pilot, serving her country. But tragedy strikes when she is forced to crash-land and is badly injured. She is taken to a specialist hospital in Cliffehaven, where she must come to terms with the disabling injury that threatens her career. Then comes the shattering news that her beloved brother has been shot down and presumed dead. And she wonders if she’ll able to find the courage and fortitude to carry on. As Kitty slowly recovers – with the help of Peggy Reilly and her family at Beach View boarding house – she is more determined than ever to return to the job she loves, whatever it takes.
- While We’re Apart (2015) – It is 1942 and England is at war. Mary Jones has just celebrated her eighteenth birthday and said goodbye to her childhood sweetheart Jack, when she learns that her house has taken a direct hit during a tip and run raid. With both her parents dead and her home destroyed, a distraught Mary moves in with Jack’s parents. But her father’s trunk is still intact amid the ruins, and Mary discovers a shocking secret amongst his diaries. Mary travels to Cliffehaven on the south coast in search of answers. Here she is billeted with Peggy Reilly’s fearsome sister, Doris. When warm-hearted Peggy befriends Mary, she discovers the young woman’s secret.
- Sealed With a Loving Kiss (2015) – After the death of her parents in a bombing raid, Mary Jones discovers a secret in the pages of father’s diaries. Her search for the truth brings her to Cliffehaven on the south coast. Here, she finds work at the Kodak factory, sifting through the Airgraphs which are being sent from all over the world by the men and women in the armed forces, and by their loved ones. All the while she longs for news of her own sweetheart, fighting in Europe. With the help of Peggy Reilly and her family at Beach View Boarding House Mary starts to build a new life for herself. But events that happened eighteen years before still echo, and should a promise Peggy made then be broken, it will have a devastating affect not only on Mary, but them all…
- Sweet Memories of You (2016) – It’s 1943 and Peggy Reilly is at her best when the troubles of war come knocking at the door of Beach View Boarding House – especially when it concerns her younger sister, Doreen. Doreen is divorced from Eddie, but his letters have taken on a more threatening tone of late. When Doreen barely survives a traumatic disaster whilst on leave in London, she returns home to Peggy and Cliffehaven in the hope that the love and comfort she will find there can help her recover. However, Eddie continues to be an unsettling reminder of her past – and Doreen’s life is about to change dramatically.
- Shelter from the Storm (2016) – It is 1943 and April Wilton is devastated when she is forced to leave Portsmouth and the WRENs where she has found friendship, fulfillment, and love. Rejected by her mother, and facing an uncertain future, she travels to Cliffehaven. However, she carries with her a secret, one that could change her life for ever. Can the warmth and support of Peggy Reilly and those at Beach View Boarding heal the wounds of April’s past, and bring her hope amid this time of turmoil?
- Until You Come Home (2017) – It is 1944 and Anne Black is making the best of a new life in Somerset, but bringing up her daughters so far from their father, her mother Peggy and their real home of Cliffehaven isn’t easy. The safety of Somerset makes separation bearable, until danger strikes and rocks Anne’s world. Back in Cliffehaven Peggy Reilly is running the Beach View Boarding House with her usual love and warmth. The war is taking its toll, however, and Peggy longs to have her scattered family home again. Until then she’ll continue being a mother to all, and maybe even find some time for herself. As the fighter planes leave RAF Cliffe every evening all anyone can hope is that the war, like the night, will soon be over.
- The Waiting Hours (2017) – Slapton Sands, 1943. War has not been kind to Carol Porter. It took her husband and baby, and with them her heart. At last she’s found some peace, working as a land girl at Coombe Farm. But Carol’s sanctuary, the whole local area in fact, is about to be disrupted. When Pauline Reilly hears Carol’s news she’s worried for her little sister. But as rumours about Slapton Sands reach Cliffehaven, Pauline can’t help be more concerned for her only surviving son. And despite her sister-in-law Peggy’s best efforts, nothing soothes Pauline’s fears. As Carol prepares to face the impending upheaval alone her beloved mother, Dolly, swoops in to Slapton, and packing up Carol’s life presents unexpected opportunities for them both: Carol looks to her future while Dolly confronts a ghost from her past, and they both have a chance to mend their broken hearts.
- With a Kiss and a Prayer (2018) – Cliffehaven, May 1944. The tension is rising for Peggy Reilly and the inhabitants of Cliffehaven as the planes continue to roar above the town and there is still no news of the long-awaited Allied invasion into France. There seems to be no end in sight of this war which has scattered her family and brought conflict right to the door of Beach View Boarding House, but Peggy cannot work miracles and the toll of the war is beginning to weigh on her slender shoulders. Meanwhile, Ron Reilly has landed himself in hot water with his sweetheart, Rosie – and this time, his Irish charm will not be enough to get him out of trouble. The war has forever changed the lives of Peggy’s loved ones, but with the promise of an Allied invasion comes the hope that her beloved husband and family will at last be coming home. It will take an enormous amount of spirit to keep that hope alive and bring harmony back to Beach View.
- As the Sun Breaks Through (2018) – As the planes continue to circle over Cliffehaven, Peggy Reilly’s sister Doris must seek refuge after a V-1 blast destroys her home. Rita, Sarah and the other residents at Beach View Boarding House quickly find their peace disturbed and it’s not long before even Peggy loses her patience. But with more bad news to come, will Doris finally be forced to swallow her pride? Meanwhile, Peggy’s father-in-law Ron Reilly is delighted when his sweetheart Rosie returns home. Until a heartbreaking confession suggests things may never be the same between them. With loved ones scattered far and wide across the globe, and tensions running high, the end of the war feels somehow further than ever. And yet with the long-awaited Allied invasion in sight, a glimmer of light is starting to break through…
- On a Turning Tide (2019) – Cliffehaven, October 1944. As the Allied troops draw closer to victory, life at Beach View Boarding House is still full of uncertainty. Rosie’s plans for her wedding to Ron Reilly are plagued with misunderstandings. And when Ron takes on a secret assignment just days before they are due to say their vows, it seems their plans for a future together may be doomed. Meanwhile, Peggy Reilly embraces her new managerial role at the uniform factory. It’s a welcome distraction while her husband Jim is still away fighting in the Far East. But when an old-school adversary joins the factory’s ranks, Peggy must win her own battles on the home front. As a new year dawns, hopes grow brighter for the return of loved ones – but a big sea change is still to come before Victory in Europe can be declared.
- With Hope and Love (2019) – 1945. The war in Europe is over, but for Peggy Reilly and the residents of Beach View Boarding House the effects of the conflict are still far-reaching. Cockney evacuee, Ivy, and her sweetheart, Andy, are saving to get married and fulfill their dream of returning to the East End. But when tragedy strikes, Ivy is faced with a life-changing dilemma that only she can resolve. Rita also faces an impossible choice when her sweetheart Peter proposes and asks her to live with him in Australia – just as her widowed father returns from the fighting in Europe. Meanwhile, Peggy must say goodbye to several of her evacuee chicks whilst she awaits the return of her family from Somerset and the news that her husband, Jim, can finally come home.
- Homecoming (2020) – Peace has finally been declared in the Far East, but for those living at Beach View Boarding House, the news brings mixed emotions. Peggy Reilly is devastated that her husband Jim will not be coming home for Christmas. And Sarah and Jane, who have lived at Beach View throughout much of the conflict, dread what they will find when they go back to Singapore. Life in Cliffehaven is in a whirlwind of change as the men return from the war and Peggy’s evacuee chicks begin to spread their wings and start new lives in different corners of the world. Peggy and Jim have longed to be together after so many years apart, but war has left them profoundly changed. Can they rekindle the loving, close relationship they’d shared before?
- A Place Called Home (2023) – 1946. The war is over and those who have spent years fighting behind enemy lines are finally coming home. Peggy Reilly is over the moon that her husband Jim is safely back from Burma. But after the horrors he has endured, adjusting to life at Beach View will not be easy. Can he and Peggy find a way through? Meanwhile evacuee Ruby Clark has much to contend with when her estranged mother turns up, having completed a long prison sentence. There is huge heartache still to come for Ruby, and she will need her Beach View family more than ever. Will the sanctuary of home give them each the strength they need to face the challenges ahead?
If you like our article about the Cliffhaven series in order, don’t forget to bookmark it! You may also be interested in the Nightingale Girls series by Donna Douglas or the Shipyard Girls series by Nancy Revell.