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The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

by Holly Ringland

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4261158,776 (3.67)4
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An enchanting and captivating novel about how our untold stories haunt us â?? 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.… (more)

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English (10)  Spanish (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
4.5* ( )
  LisaBergin | Apr 12, 2023 |
I thoroughly enjoyed "The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart". From the first page, I was captured by Alice and felt I was beside her as she journeyed through life. At times it was heartbreaking but she always found solace amongst the local plants.

Women and their stories played a vital role in this novel as did the sense of place, whether it was the can fields, the ocean, the river with its gigantic gum, Agnus' garden, the flower farm or the harsh beauty of the Northern Territory. They were brought alive by the talented penmanship of the author. The descriptions of Kililpitjara (Earnshaw Crater) fascinated me, especially with the Sturt desert peas growing in its centre. I desperately wanted to visit it and see this magical sight.

I liked how each chapter started with a description of a native Australian flower. While I knew a number of them, there were some I didn't know and had to Google them to see what they looked like. I would love to have seen a photo or coloured illustration included with the descriptions. I think that would have added charm to this novel.

Dealing with family, loss, love identity and secrets, "The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart" was a fabulous debut. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Feb 10, 2023 |
There is so much sadness and so much beauty in this book. I loved that there was no tying together of different threads and characters in different places. There was no neat resolution because that’s not how life works, but there was hope. I felt bad for June. ( )
1 vote Amzzz | Jul 30, 2022 |
Oh this book is so beautiful! I can't remember the last time I found a book that drew me in so instantaneously! I was literally hooked from the second page!
Nine year old Alice Hart lives on a cane farm in a fairy tale world with her mother that helps shield her from her abusive father's dark moods. When tragedy strikes, Alice's world is turned upside down when she goes to live with the grandmother she never knew she had on her native flower farm. And so begins a story of generational strife, family secrets & finding your own way.
When we first meet Alice, the story has a dream-like quality as Alice & her mother find ways to cope with her father's abuse. The descriptions are so vivid they almost jump off the page. The prose is so beautiful & written so clearly you can almost see it playing out in front of you. I had quite a few favourite quotes from this book too.
As the story progresses the writing loses that quality as Alice comes to grips with her new circumstances. The story still holds you in it's grasp though!
I never once lost interest in this book. It pulled on my heartstrings from the start & I had such a hard time putting it down, it only took me three days to read it. This is a new firm favourite & definite five star read. ( )
  leah152 | Sep 5, 2021 |
A pleasant read despite dealing with the bitter issue of domestic violence. It moved along at a brisk pace--I devoured it in a few days--and the background stories and illustrations were thoroughly interesting. My objection is the sophomoric treatment of love/attraction, which was indeed central to the plot, where everyone falls in love at first sight. She 'coup de foudre's the hell out of the story and this diminished my appreciation of it. ( )
2 vote amaraki | Apr 26, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:

An enchanting and captivating novel about how our untold stories haunt us â?? 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.

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