The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

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By: Holly Ringland
Location: FIC RIN
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

"It is a fierce and assured piece of writing that makes a solid commentary on family dynamics, domestic drama and self discovery." Amanda

“The more she cried, the more Alice believed she really did have some of the sea inside her.”

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.

"There are some powerful and highly relevant themes explored in The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, all of which are subjected to the accomplished hand of Holly Ringland. While there is heartbreaking sadness in the form of loss, domestic violence, lost love, betrayal, long held secrets, survival and trauma. On the other hand, there are themes of renewal, acceptance and self fulfillment. It takes real skill to balance the careful dichotomy between sadness and hope, but Ringland gets it just right. As a debut writer, I was blown away by her talent." Amanda

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