'Holly Ringland is a gifted, natural story-teller and her novel is truly a light-giving, tender thing. A vivid, compelling, utterly moving debut.' Brooke Davis, bestselling author of Lost & Found
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.
'Ringland's storytelling is driven by an undimmed sense of wonder at the darkness and light, the damage and love in people. It makes for a determined investigation of abuse and survival accomplished with profound sensitivity.' The Sydney Morning Herald
'Lush, powerful ... This is an engrossing novel imbued with passion and reverence for the Australian natural world, with a cast of characters that inspire affection in the reader even as they make mistakes. Those who couldn't put down The Natural Way of Things will find a gentler but no less compelling journey of female survival in this novel.' Bookseller + Publisher
'There's an aching heart beating through Holly Ringland's narrative that although at times seems almost broken, is stitched back together with shards of optimism that offer constant hope. These are characters we love, care about and want to nurture... A vivid and brave tale of love, loss and inner power.' Australian Women's Weekly
'A beautifully written, hopeful and enthralling tale...an enchanting read' Herald Sun
'Charming' The Australian
'At its heart, this book is about finding a way to care for yourself, in a world that sometimes likes to step on its flowers' Courier Mail
'There is something transformative in the story of Alice Hart, something which lingers with you after the closing of the last page.' 9Honey
'An astonishingly assured debut, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is a story of love, loss, betrayal and the redemptive power of storytelling ... both heartbreaking and life-affirming.' Kate Forsyth
'The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is a book that glows - in the fire and heart of it; in the wonder and hope of it. Holly Ringland is a gifted, natural story-teller and her novel--about finding magic in the dark; about the power of freedom and the freedom of story--is truly a light-giving, tender thing. A vivid, compelling, utterly moving debut.' Brooke Davis
"I loved this brave and beautiful book. Alice Hart has the strength and magic of an Australian wildflower in bloom." Favel Parrett
'This novel shines with courage, with heart, and with love. Infused with a tender ferocity, and the beauty and warmth of native flowers, it invokes great stories of loss, kindness and home.' Ashley Hay
'The best fairy tales traverse the darkest corners of the human heart, and this beautiful novel is no exception. Truth and illusion, devastation and triumph, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart will spit you out whole.' Myfanwy Jones
'A beautifully moving novel' Hobart Mercury
'An imaginative tour de force, beautifully weaving together themes of love and loss, violence and redemption, magic and story-telling, all infused with the loneliness and strange beauty of the Australian bush' Weekly Times