Browsing Tag

domestic violence


The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

May 4, 2018

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is a delightful tale that follows the aftermath of the tragic deaths of Alice’s parents in a horrifying fire that consumed their seaside home. Alice is taken in by her estranged grandmother, June, and it is under her care, and the care of the other Flowers that work for her that Alice gradually starts to find her voice and slowly starts on the path to heal. All the while learning about her family heritage and the language of flowers. The journey takes a sharp turn, however, when Alice comes face to face with a betrayal that leaves her reeling, and fleeing for the desert.

A beautiful and heart wrenching debut from Holly Ringland, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart had me hooked from the attention grabbing first line: “In the weatherboard house at the end of the lane, nine-year-old Alice Hart sat at her desk by the window and dreamed of ways to set her father on fire.” Captivating and enchanting, this is a tale of redemption, healing, and unraveling the stories of the past, while carving out a future for yourself.

The story told predominantly in Alice’s voice, starting as her nine year old self, and following her as she grows up into a young woman in her late twenties. Other minor characters also occasionally lend their thoughts too, but it is usually brief and it is never long before we’re once more in Alice’s shoes. And although I often find multiple points of view jarring, Holly Ringland skillfully weaved them together, and I appreciated the insights the eclectic mix of minor characters throughout offered.

I found the novel so well written, that it is difficult to believe that this is Ringland’s debut, and I can’t wait to read more of her works.

* This ebook ARC was provided by HarperCollins Publishers Australia through NetGalley for an honest review.


Three Gold Coins by Josephine Moon

April 4, 2018

This is the second book of Josephine that I have read, and I adored it even more than The Beekeeper’s Secret. It was a touching tale following Lara, an Australian girl, who has escaped to Rome, eager to distance herself from her past. In Rome, she soon finds Samuel, an elderly and somewhat cranky man in distress and she’s just what he needs, even if he doesn’t yet realise it. It is not long before she unravels Samuel’s own tragedy, and they both work towards overcoming and healing.

There is heartache, and romance, and plenty of foodie goodness. It was hard not to salivate on reading all the delicious Italian food that Lara was preparing and eating. The only thing that would make this book better, would be the inclusion of a few of the recipes in the back so we can try them out.

The Three Gold Coins touches on heavier topics too, among them domestic violence, stalking, and suicide, and handles them delicately and with respect. Yet, Josephine Moon still doesn’t gloss over the sometimes harsh consequences of our failed systems, and that’s reflected with how the story unfolds. Having had my own personal experience with a ‘Dave’, it was somewhat cathartic read that had me shedding a few tears towards the last couple of chapters.

Thank you Allen and Unwin for giving me the opportunity to read Three Gold Coins, it was a perfect read that I devoured in just a couple of days.

*Three Gold Coins was won in a give-away ran by Allen and Unwin.