Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

- Source: my bookshelf - 

BLURB
When tragedy changes her life irrevocably, nine-year-old Alice Hart goes to live with the grandmother she never knew existed, on a native flower farm that gives refuge to women, who, like Alice, are lost or broken. In the Victorian tradition, every flower has a meaning and, as she settles into her new life, Alice uses this language of flowers to say things that are too hard to speak.

As she grows older, though, family secrecy, a devastating betrayal and a man who's not all he seems combine to make Alice realise there are some stories that flowers alone cannot tell. If she is to have the freedom she craves, she must find the courage to possess the most powerful story she knows: her own.

THOUGHTS
Opening up The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, we meet Alice, a young girl who lives in the middle of nowhere alongside her parents - including an abusive and controlling father. We are given little snippets of Alice's life up to this point, all of which are just heart breaking. Soon thereafter, Alice encounters a devastating loss in her family, and is sent to live with her paternal grandmother, June, who owns and lives at Thornfield, a flower farm. From here Alice's story really starts to evolve, and as a reader, we follow her into adulthood.
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I really enjoyed Alice as a main protagonist, watching as she grew - noting the path in life that she followed, and seeing how this shaped her as a person. Some of her life choices weren't the greatest, and as I rooted for her, I realised that this only heightened the authenticity of her as a character; being flawed, as we all are.
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There are many themes present within this book, including grief, love, self discovery, redemption and family secrets.
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Set in Australia, I really enjoyed the natural elements and landscapes that were the backdrop of this book. The details regarding the flowers were just amazing - the book itself is visually stunning, and the language of flowers gave an extra special element to the storytelling of Alice Hart and her family.
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As a reader, and book reviewer, this is one of those books that I struggle to put into words... There was a feeling as I was enveloped in this book, and Alice's story, that I just can't articulate properly. What I can say though, is that I came away from this reading experience with a new addition to my 'favourite books of all time' pile.
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Holly Ringland has taken this harsh snapshot of life, and created a beautiful story from it. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart isn't an easy read (in terms of plot), but it is a gripping read and one I would recommend to fans of contemporary fiction with a focus on family.
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2 comments

  1. Ooh I definitely want to read more books set in Australia, so I can be there in spirit. ♥ The heroine sounds lovely, and I love myself some character growth. Fantastic review! Also the cover for this book is just stunning!

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

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    Replies
    1. The cover is beautiful; quite agree with you on that!! The character growth is interesting to read in this book, as is the setting of Australia. I love books set in Australia!!

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