Holly Ringland: The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart



G where she was headed Alice s unexpected destination was deep in the Australian desert where the Sturt s desert pea was prolific and filled with meaningHaunting and dangerous that was her time in the middle of Australia But would Alice ever find solace Could she make peace with her past and finally look forward to the future Enchanting heartbreaking divine Stunning spectacular poignant What a debut The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is all that and by an Australian author I ll be keeping an eye out for from now on Holly Ringland s debut novel is full of depth and emotion the story of a oung girl who had to find the strength to live a life which was so different from the one she had envisioned The cover of the book is beautiful I was drawn to it the beginning of each chapter with the type of Australian native flower and its meaning adds to the story Holly Ringland has captured the essence of Australia and I have no hesitation in recommending The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart highlyWith thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read and review 35 Most of the time he spent inside followed the awful things he did But when he came out he was always better Alice had decided his shed held a transformational kind of magic as if within its walls was an enchanted mirror or a spinning wheel She d read about alchemy in her library books she knew the tale of Rumpelstiltskin Her father s shed was where he spun straw into gold Stunning cover and an unbeatable opening sentence which has been widely uoted but that won t stop me from sharing it again It s terrific especially for a debut novel In the weatherboard house at the end of the lane nine Bad Pets year old Alice Hart sat at her desk by the window and dreamed of ways to set her father on fire She means literally not metaphorically because he already managed to flare up unexpectedly at Alice and her mother without provocation She would have been happy to set him a Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is a rare beauty It is one of those novels that uietly sneaks up onou and unleashes its power I have a feeling that The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is destined to remain by my side for some time Running Your Best yet It is a fierce and assured piece of writing that makes a solid commentary on family dynamics domestic drama and self discovery It is a mighty feat for a new writer but Holly Ringland demonstrates she is a force to be reckoned withThe Lost Flowers of Alice Hart revolves around the haunting but unforgettable tale of a beautiful soul named Alice We are first introduced to a vulnerable Alice when she is nineears old At this point in her life Alice lives on the coast cut off from society at the beck and call of her overly controlling father and suppressed mother When a tragedy strikes at the heart of Alice s existence she is taken into the care of her grandmother a woman she did not know existed Alice s Grandmother Junewhisks Alice away to her prospering flower farm At this native flower farm Alice meets a group of women who are also trying to heal from their own traumatic experiences Alice eventually finds a connection and a sense of solace from the women as well as the work on the farm As the The Fall Of White City (Victorian Chicago Mystery Series Book 1) years go by Alice develops a one of a kind aptitude for the native flowers she works with this special gift highlights Alice s uniue ability to speak the special language of flowers What Alice cannot shake from her system as she comes into her own are the lies and secrets that are linked to her family legacy It all comes to a head when Alice is betrayed by someone close to her and she ends of fleeing the farm In time Alice comes to the realisation that she cannot hide behind the language of flowers and that her own story must be revealedThe Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is a metamorphic tale and one that literally took my breath away I completely understand now why this book has been given I should have realised this was not the book for me when I saw reviews remarking on the similarities between it and The Language of Flowers It seems flowers do not speak to me and sadly nor did The Lost Flowers of Alice HartI found the book to be over long and very disjointed New characters were still being added with back stories in the final third of the book which I found annoying The main character was way way over the top I lost count of how many times she vomited or fainted as a reaction to stress Normal people slam a door or have a good cry I am not even going to start on Agnes and Alice and their abusive relationships On the plus side there is that beautiful cover And behind all the melodrama there was a good story trying to get out Some of the characters like the Flowers were interesting and the descriptions of the Australian countryside were detailed and very effectiveI know many people love this book and I am one of few who does not Note to self No books about the language of flowers. Rs 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 twentyears 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 ow.

Ern desert There she discovers a different sort of beauty in the land and plants that grow there She starts to document the flowers she sees and what they mean but then falls in love with a man not unlike her father who is cruel and controlling Eventually with courage and love Alice finds her own way back to her first home and starts to heal and transform into the woman she should beHolly Ringland takes us on an incredible journey with Alice as she grows to become an adult and can understand the rift between her parents and grandmother and accept them for the people they were The cast of supporting characters is very strong mostly women who are tough and resiliant from Alice s grandmother June and her group of rescued women to the women in the desert and Sally the librarian from Alice s childhood The use of a flower and it s meaning to introduce each chapter is works so well as a powerful link to each section of the story as well as the use of flowers through the story to convey actions and feelings Truly a beautiful book When tragedy strikes nine Please Dont Tickle The Tiger year old Alice Hart is given no choice but to leave her only home she knows by the seaside and go and live with her estranged grandmother June who was a flower farmerListening to her grandmother Alice begins to learn and appreciates all the different types of flowers that her grandmother grows on her farm Alice discovers a whole new language Her grandmother also takes in women who have been mistreated and need a safe place to stay hoping that she can help heal their mental and physical wounds As theears pass Alice discovers secrets that deeply hurt her and once again the feeling of being betrayed returns and she flees from the flower farm but she has no idea where she is headed or what lies ahead of her This was a fabulous and very powerful story which will remain with me for a long time to come An amazing story that sweeps MTIV you up and carriesou into another world unlike any other I loved this book and it s gorgeous cover Highly recommended Hard to review a book too long after reading so this is just a tiny thought This was an audio read one that I enjoyed not uite as much as The language of flowers The flower theme is a lovely one and they seem to be a redeeming feature in this story of abuse and loss I loved the imagery and the character of Alice who was a beautiful strong and courageous soul I don t take notes on audio reads and must review closer to reading time A worthy four star book Oh and of course it goes without saying that the cover is divine 3 This was a book club pick and I must admit I knew going in that it wasn t my kind of book But I was determined to give it a chance because isn t that what book clubs are for The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is like Practical Magic with flowers instead of witchcraft Several generations of women in one family line a big old house a fairy tale vibe romance abusive men The writing was also reminiscent of Alice Hoffman s dreamy style clearly Holly Ringland is strongly influenced by Hoffman s work At times things got just too treacly for me The workers on the flower farm all women who have fled some sort of abuse or trauma refer to themselves collectively as The Flowers One of the Flowers is a blue haired twentysomething baker of glittery cupcakes named Candy Baby she sounds like a Strawberry Shortcake character than a grown woman Granted the whole book is not like this and things improve when the action moves from the flower farm out into the desert but there are enough instances that it crosses the line from sweet to sappyAlice the book s protagonist is endearing as a child but the grown up Alice is terribly miluetoast with a tendency to swoon she faints a few times including once when a cute guy she s just met takes off his sunglasses and looks at her If only she d been a hardier specimen not this wilted blossom I might have been invested in her story The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is by no means a bad book actually it is well written and achieves what it sets out to do uite well It s got a good heart and while it s not really my thing I d bet money the rest of my book club adores it The days when her father wasn t home were the best of all for International Organizations young Alice Hart She and her mother would tend the garden together finding a calm and peace that was never around when he was there Alice adored her mother and was terrified of her father But at nineears of age a tragedy meant Alice had to live with her grandmother a woman she had never met on a flower farm a long way from the seaside that was the only home Alice had knownGradually Alice came to love the flowers and their meanings The way they spoke when words were too hard Learning the language of flowers created a peace within Alice until her peace was shattered With her heart broken she fled the farm and all it had meant to her driving without knowin. 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 manThe Lost Flowe.

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The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is Holly Ringland s debut novel It s been marketed uite heavily in Australia there was a lot of excitement about it so I had to read it to see if the hype was deservedIt s a beautifully crafted book with not only a gorgeous cover but also each chapter has the drawing of an Australian native flower and a bit of information about it It was very well done so kudos to the book designersThis was a coming of age story Alice Hart s father is a violent volatile man When Alice was nine Laurus years old something horrific occurs which will see Alice sent to live on a wildflower farm with her paternal grandmother she didn t know existed I loved the description of Thornton and the way it was run exclusively by women for whom Thornton was a sanctuary and a refuge I was looking forward to getting to know of the women on the farm But midway through the novel takes a different turn and sort of loses its way pretty much like Alice A well written credible coming of age story with elements of domestic abuse its conseuences and surviving it turns into a melodramatic mess I can t stand it when characterspeople create unnecessary dramas by not talking to each other and in this case it was completely over the top inexplicable and incredulous I realise it was necessary to create conflict but I didn t buy it and I found it frustratingThere were also things that an editor should have picked It s a contemporary novel there s Google still there is letter writing happening and going to the post office to mail a letter or get the mail Those old tropes I wroteou so many letters over the Silk and Steel years here s a novel idea insert sarcasm ifou really want to find someone if ou know the address drivefly there or it s not my story to tell Honestly the second part of the novel is a rushed jumble which I found even irritating since I was so taken with the first two hundred pagesI shouldn t be so harsh as this is a debut novel Holly Ringland s potential is apparent so I m interested to read her second novel This will go towards my Aussie Authors Challenge on wwwbookloverbookreviewscom 25 StarsAlthough the writing uality was impressive for a debut novel the story itself didn t grab me Ringland certainly established in vivid detail a strong sense of person and place but unfortunately for me I simply wasn t into the story being told I guess my problem lies in the fact that I just didn t feel anything for any of the characters Their personal situations relating to their past traumas and their ongoing individual emotional battles were meant to elicit an emotional response from the reader but that was not the case for me One emotion I did feel constantly was frustration frustration at the stupid choices being made by these women I was meant to feel for I just couldn t with Alice and her sensitive self She was extremely child like and grossly naive especially when she was an adult which made me want to shake some common sense and maturity into her And es her maturity was obviously stunted by her childhood trauma and hindered by the environment she grew up in but I had no patience for her behaviour especially when she was fainting and wilting away at every turn of the page My biggest issue probably revolves around the fact that I dislike miscommunication lack of communication in my reads ie characters who don t communicate important information to one another Most of the angst Alice feels even as a oung child is because she isn t being told the truth by the adults in her life Secrets shit me and had I known most of this story would revolve around an old stubborn bitch June ruining lives with her omissions of big truths and through her purposeful meddling I daresay I wouldn t have bothered picking this one up Ultimately this story was not for me but I do appreciate the impressive uality of the writing itself and the vivid detail given to the various Aussie landscapes depicted within And it must be said that I m completely in love with the cover art even if the story within was not what I hoped for This book not only has the most gorgeous cover but also a beautiful story of loss love and redemption At nine Alice Hart is a little girl battered and bruised by her controlling violent father kept isolated from the world and home schooled Her only joy is escaping into the world of books and working in the garden with her mother When a tragedy strikes and Alice loses her parents she is sent to live on a flower farm with the grandmother she never knew she had There she discovers not only the language of flowers but a whole new family of damaged women given refuge and purpose by her grandmother Although Alice grows up loved in a happy caring environment her overprotective grandmother keeps secrets about her family from her and discovery of a lie will send Alice fleeing from all she loves as far as she can get into the west. The most enchanting debut novel of 2018 this is an irresistible deeply moving and romantic story of a oung 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 strengthAfter her family suffers a tragedy when she is nine ears 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.

HOLLY RINGLAND grew up barefoot and wild in her mother's tropical garden on the east coast of Australia Her interest in cultures and stories was sparked by a two year journey her family took in North America when she was nine years old living in a camper van and travelling from one national park to another In her twenties Holly worked for four years in a remote Indigenous community in the cent