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The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

Narrated by: Louise Crawford
Length: 13 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (228 ratings)
Non-member price: $28.59
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Publisher's Summary

An enchanting and captivating novel about how our untold stories haunt us - and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive.

The most enchanting debut novel of 2018, this is an irresistible, deeply moving, and romantic 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.

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 20s, 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.

©2018 HarperCollins Publishers Australia pty Ltd (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Australia pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My fav book of the year

This book is just so magic. I put off reading it because I was worried the flower language would be a bit twee but it added a real depth and felt authentic. This book is uniquely vivid; you are transported to childhood, you come to know characters, you feel experiences, you explore places. It really is a special read and will stay with you long after you read it.

I wasn’t sure about the audiobook performance - it’s very much performed not read and whilst it’s done well, it took a chapter or two for me to settle into.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Unbelievably Awesome

I cannot wait for this author's next book. This one was absolutely brilliant for a first novel. I moved to Perth 2 years ago and didn't realise the book was based on Australian landscapes and flowers. Too delightful for words as I could appreciate some of the better known types.

My only regret is that I didn't buy the physical book as I am not sure if I missed out on illustrations of all the flowers ((and this is only if the book had illustrations in it).

Highly recommend this book.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful book

This book was amazing. Descriptions of the landscape were so thorough I could imagine myself there. Beautiful references to flowers throughout. Loved it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great story loved every moment.

a great story i loved every moment. i look forward to the authors next novel

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Honest, lovely and enchanting.

A truly beautiful story filled with moments that bring a sense of wonder and make you want to cry all at once.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Captivating

A beautiful book to fully immerse & lose yourself in. I never wanted it to end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing

I wanted to love this, but really, really didn’t. I found I’d finally get engaged in the story, and it’d jump forward in time. I found the main protagonist difficult to engage with. But mostly, I found the narration really difficult to listen to. The accents (Mexican? And indigenous) weren’t great, the voice adopted for Candy Baby with the rising intonation at the end of every sentence made her seem more like a ditz than I suspect the author intended, but mostly, the narrators mispronunciation of ‘rifle’ and ‘riffling’ drove me mad. Wouldn’t recommend this book as an audiobook. Perhaps it would have been better to read. Not for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A MUST

I enjoyed every minute of this book. Holly Ringland sure knows how to entrance the reader. A must for any book lover.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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great book engaging story terrible accents

loved the book, its flows amazingly with deep characters. really struggled to listen to the narrators spanish and aboriginal accents that flattened the characters. would have understood the characters and their history without the terrible accent.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A love of flowers

This book captured me in many ways. I love gardening, and being new to Australia, not knowing the native flowers of this country, it has been such an inspiration to read about all the varieties, and connecting them to feelings and emotions.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of the book - though I have to admit somewhere around 3/4 of a way in, I lost a bit of interest. Alice managed to bring me back though towards the end.

Though I finished this a couple of weeks back, I find myself thinking about this story every so often when I see a blooming flower somewhere in a park or garden. I only wish I could buy an illustrated version of the Thornfield dictionary!

Overall, definitely worth the read, and I would highly recommend it.