The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart 3

the bestselling debut novel of 2018

by Holly Ringland

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 19/03/2018

5/5 Rating 3 Reviews
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The 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.

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.

Under the watchful eye of June and the women who run the farm, Alice settles, but grows up increasingly frustrated by how little she knows of her family's story. In her early twenties, Alice's life is thrown into upheaval again when she suffers devastating betrayal and loss. Desperate to outrun grief, Alice flees to the dramatically beautiful central Australian desert. In this otherworldly landscape Alice thinks she has found solace, until she meets a charismatic and ultimately dangerous man.

Spanning two decades, set between sugar cane fields by the sea, a native Australian flower farm, and a celestial crater in the central desert, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart follows Alice's unforgettable journey, as she learns that the most powerful story she will ever possess is her own.

'Lush, powerful ... This is an engrossing novel imbued with passion and reverence for the Australian natural world, with a cast of characters that inspire affection in the reader even as they make mistakes. Those who couldn't put down The Natural Way of Things will find a gentler but no less compelling journey of female survival in this novel.' Bookseller + Publisher

'There's an aching heart beating through Holly Ringland's narrative that although at times seems almost broken, is stitched back together with shards of optimism that offer constant hope. These are characters we love, care about and want to nurture... A vivid and brave tale of love, loss and inner power.' Australian Women's Weekly

'A beautifully written, hopeful and enthralling tale...an enchanting read' Herald Sun

'Charming' The Australian

'At its heart, this book is about finding a way to care for yourself, in a world that sometimes likes to step on its flowers' Courier Mail

ISBN:
9781460754337
Category:
Contemporary fiction
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
19-03-2018
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Country of origin:
Australia
Pages:
400
Dimensions (mm):
234x153x30mm
Weight:
0.5kg
Holly Ringland

Holly Ringland grew up wild and barefoot in her mother's tropical garden in Northern Australia. When she was nine years old, her family lived in a camper van for two years in North America,travelling from one national park to another, an experience that sparked Holly's lifelong interest in cultures and stories.

In her twenties, Holly worked for four years in a remote Indigenous community in the central Australian desert. She moved to England in 2009 and obtained her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester in 2011.

She now lives between the UK and Australia. Holly's essays and short fiction have been published in various anthologies and literary journals.

In 2015, the first chapter of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart won Griffith Review's annual writer award, which included a week-long fellowship at Varuna House, Australia's top national writing residency. 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (3 Ratings)
5 stars (2)
4 stars (1)
3 stars (0)
2 stars (0)
1 stars (0)
  • Flower language

    by on

    I mostly enjoyed this book, and particularly liked the details about the wild flowers and the desert environment. I also like the cross-cultural moments. Lots of strong female characters and a fair few damaged or evil male characters. While that may have been the writer's intention and fitted with her theme/message, I found that a little unbalanced. Some parts of the story seemed to diverge too far from reality for me and I found myself asking 'How did she do that?' and 'Why wouldn't she just ...?"

  • Beautiful Book

    by on

    Wonderfully written

  • Reviewed by Olivia at Angus & Robertson

    by on

    If you picked up this book for the gorgeous cover alone then you are in for a treat, because the story that lies beneath it is complex and utterly unforgettable.

    Alice Hart is a young woman adrift after having suffered a terrible tragedy, who finds solace in the hardy Australian wildflowers that she comes to grow up amongst with her grandmother June. As she moves from place to place, carrying the weight of her unspoken grief and the knowledge of the meaning of flowers, Alice learns what it means to survive through moments of unimaginable darkness. It’s hard to believe that Holly Ringland is a debut author, for she writes with astonishing maturity on things that many established writers would balk at, finding profound beauty in the bleakest moments of human experience.

    The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is a story that is both beautiful and brutal in equal measure, and it will captivate you from start to finish.