With possibly one of the best opening sentences I have ever read, this is an enchanting debut novel. It 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.
Here is my review of Holly’s book on Goodreads:
It’s an understatement to say I was captivated by this book.
If I could give this book 6 stars it still wouldn’t be enough. A remarkably assured debut novel.
Spanning two decades, set between sugarcane fields by the sea, Thornfeld 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.
Beautifully written, heartwarming, and moving.
You want a book to capture you from the very first line, and Holly Ringland’s novel does just that. It has a remarkable first line.
I’ve read this book twice since receiving it. In the first read, I tore through the book to discover Alice’s story, then immediately started again to slowly unpick the magical threads that effortlessly weave the stories of the women together. Its a book of fear, fire, friendship, and flowers, but it’s no fairytale and like most ancient tales, it has darkness at its heart.
Alice slowly finds solace at Thornfeld, but for generations, this farm has been a place of sorrow, violence, fear and transformation, as well as a sanctuary.
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is an enchanting, captivating novel of how untold stories haunt us and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive. To understand her own story Alice must uncover the devastating secrets of past generations.
I have no doubt this will be one of the stand-out novels of 2018.