The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly RinglandThe most enchanting debut novel of 2018, this is an irresistible, deeply moving and romantic story of a young girl, daughter of an abusive father, who has to learn the hard way that she can break the patterns of the past, live on her own terms and find her own strength.
After her family suffers a tragedy when she is nine years old, Alice Hart is forced to leave her idyllic seaside home. She is taken in by her estranged grandmother, June, a flower farmer who raises Alice on the language of Australian native flowers, a way to say the things that are too hard to speak. But Alice also learns that there are secrets within secrets about her past. Under the watchful eye of June and The Flowers, women who run the farm, Alice grows up. But an unexpected betrayal sends her reeling, and she flees to the dramatically beautiful central Australian desert. Alice thinks she has found solace, until she falls in love with Dylan, a charismatic and ultimately dangerous man.
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is a story about stories: those we inherit, those we select to define us, and those we decide to hide. It is a novel about the secrets we keep and how they haunt us, and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive. Spanning twenty years, set between the lush sugar cane fields by the sea, a native Australian flower farm, and a celestial crater in the central desert, Alice must go on a journey to discover that the most powerful story she will ever possess is her own.
A review of the Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland
Reviewed by Amanda Rayner. The challenge with reviewing The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland is to convey in only a few hundred words the stunning achievement of this debut author. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart charts approximately twenty years in the life of Alice from nine years old and takes us through three distinct Australian landscapes: the seaside, the farm and the central Australian desert. Throughout this odyssey, tragedies occur and secrets are revealed as Alice is exposed to the power and influence of family, friendship and love and the way to communicate it all through the language of native Australian flowers. The settings are stunning and important; water and fire are recurring motifs symbolic of cleansing, renewal and destruction. Then there is the language; the prose is descriptive and poetic resulting in evocative imagery rich in colour and shade and conveying a strong sense of place.
An enchanting and captivating novel, about how our untold stories haunt us - and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive. After her family suffers a tragedy, nine-year-old Alice Hart is forced to leave her idyllic seaside home. She is taken in by her grandmother, June, a flower farmer who raises Alice on the language of Australian native flowers, a way to say the things that are too hard to speak.
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Also Available as an Ebook. Winner, ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year An enchanting and captivating novel about how our untold stories haunt us — and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive. After her family suffers a tragedy, nine-year-old Alice Hart is forced to leave her idyllic seaside home. She is taken in by her grandmother, June, a flower farmer who raises Alice on the language of Australian native flowers, a way to say the things that are too hard to speak. Desperate to outrun grief, Alice flees to the dramatically beautiful central Australian desert.
Image: Giulia Zonza Source:Whimn. Holly Ringland is an Australian writer, creative writing Phd researcher, speaker, traveller, and advocate of stories for change — and also the author behind our first whimn Book Bar book of the month. Her previously unknown grandmother, June, takes her thousands of kilometres away to Thornfield, a "place where flowers and women could bloom". The relationship Alice forms with the troubled women at the refuge is nurturing and empowering, and she learns "this secret language of flowers to speak for all the things her voice wouldn't". As Alice blooms in this magical matriarchal community, she rediscovers the power of speech. Q: Violence against women is a big theme.
Reviewed by Magdalena Ball. The inside, with each chapter represented by a flower, beautifully drawn by botanical artist Edith Rewa, with titles designed to look handwritten. The natural environment is as much a part of the characterisation as the people — with the ocean, the river, the red desert earth and the stunning sunsets:. Around them, the willowy needles of desert oak trees swayed in the pale orange light. Wafts of yellow butterflies fluttered low over acacia and mulga bushes. The crater wall slowly change colour as the sun sank, from flat ochre to blazing red to chocolate-purple. The sun slipped under the dark line of the horizon, glowing like an ember as it threw its last light into the sky.