The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Winner of the 2019 ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year Award.
The international best seller, now sold to more than 24 territories internationally, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart tells the enchanting and compelling 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.
"Lush, powerful...an engrossing novel of female survival." (Bookseller + Publisher)
A young girl loses both her parents in a tragic event and is taken to live with her grandmother on a flower farm. Growing up, Alice learns the language of Australian native flowers as a way to say the things that are too hard to speak. But she also learns that there are secrets within secrets about her past. An unexpected betrayal leaves her reeling, and she escapes to try to make her own—sometimes painful—way through the world and to find her story.
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 20 years and set between sugarcane fields by the sea, a native Australian flower farm, and a celestial crater in the central desert, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart follows the life of Alice as she discovers that the most powerful story she will ever possess is her own.
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|Listening Length||13 hours and 43 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||25 April 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 343 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
6 in Coming of Age Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
22 in Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
35 in Coming of Age Fiction (Books)
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Reviewed in Australia on 20 September 2018
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The last third of the book: by this time I wanted to scream at Alice and tell her to grow up. I struggled to keep reading. The story was wrapped up in a rush with far too many new characters.
There were many editing errors. I can't believe a publishing house let them through. Moss's son was called Lucas on one page and Patrick on the next :( There were sentences ending in odd places so that I had to re-read to try to make sense of what was being written. A great beginning, a poor ending.
The book is filled with great characters from varying cultural traditions, providing rich symbology. Also fascinating is the language of flowers. Based on the Victorian tradition, meanings are given to Australian natives which inform the various themes of the novel. Outstanding work.
Alice Hart has been growing up with a volatile, often violent father and her quiet, shy mother on a remote coastal property in tropical Australia. Forbidden to venture into town and home schooled, her only friends are her dog Toby and the fictional characters out of the books her father occasionally brings home for her from the town library. Her mother, bruised and shattered by her host and finds refuge in her garden, where she teaches Alice the magical language of the flowers growing there in abundance. One day, after a particularly bad rage, an unthinkable tragedy happens, one that will leave Alice an orphan and change her life forever.
Alice 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 western 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 be.
Sometimes heartbreaking and at other times uplifting, this is a story about family, loss, regret, love and secrets. More than anything, Alice wanted to find out her own story, but it was the secrets kept by those who loved her most that prevented her from discovering who she was and where she came from.
A brilliant read, with so much interesting information about Australian flora (plants) their meanings, habitats, combined with the characters and story line made this book one to remember.
A brilliant read by a very skilled author, I would recommend to all. A+
Top reviews from other countries
But flowers can only say so much and the book's ultimate, powerful message is that, no matter how hard you try, you cannot run away from grief, from pain and from your past because it will always find you. There are some very dark times for Alice as she ignores danger signals time and time again - which is so unsettling as a reader, because you end up caring so much about her! - but Alice's story is, in the end, a hopeful one as she realises that facing pain and owning your story is the only way to move forward and claim your rightful place in the world.
Books don't often move me in the way this one did. The storytelling is truly spectacular and the character of Alice Hart is the lost, frightened child seeking love and belonging that I think speaks to that part of all of us. Holly Ringland is a writer to watch and I'd say The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is destined to become something of an Australian classic.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 August 2018