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THE LOST FLOWERS OF ALICE HART
RIGHTS SOLD (14 TERRITORIES) & PUB DATES
Harper Collins 4th Estate ANZ, April 2018
PanMacmillan Mantle, UK, 2018
Random House Limes Verlag, Germany, fall 2018
Luitingh Sijthoff, Holland, summer 2018
Garzanti, Italy 2018
Ediciones Salamandra, Spain & LA, 2018
Empuries, Catalonia region, 2018
Porto Editora, Portugal 2018
Marginesy Publishing, Poland 2018
Yabanci Yayinlari, Turkey 2018
Tchelet Books/Steimatsky, Israel 2018
Shueisha, Japan 2018
Vulkan, Serbia 2018
AST/Janri, Russia 2018
A beautiful novel about the haunting power of unspoken stories, how trauma transforms life and the magic one woman finds by living on her own terms.
After her family suffers a tragedy when she is nine years old, Alice Hart is forced to leave her idyllic seaside home. She is taken in by her estranged 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 Flowers, twelve women in recovery who run the farm, Alice becomes a teenager and begins to dream about her future.
But Alice’s life is thrown into upheaval again when she discovers more about her past and is betrayed by the women she thought of as family. Desperate to outrun grief, and the confines of the flower farm Alice flees to the dramatically beautiful central Australian desert. In this otherworldly landscape, Alice thinks she has found solace until she falls in love with Dylan, a charismatic and ultimately dangerous man.
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is a story about stories; those we inherit, and those we select to define us; the stories we choose as truth, 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 twenty years and set between sugar cane fields by the sea, a native Australian flower farm and a celestial crater in the desert, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart follows the life of Alice Hart as she discovers that the most powerful story she will ever possess is her own.
Holly Ringland grew up wild and barefoot in her mother’s tropical garden in Northern Australia. When she was nine years old, her family lived in a camper van for two years in North America, travelling from one national park to another, an experience that sparked Holly’s lifelong interest in cultures and stories.
In her twenties, Holly worked for four years in a remote Indigenous community in the central Australian desert. She moved to England in 2009 and obtained a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester in 2011. She has lived in Manchester for the last seven years with her English partner and is in the final year of her creative writing PhD with Griffith University and King’s College London. Her PhD examines how traumatic experience can be reformed through the creative writing process.
Holly’s essays and short fiction have been published in various anthologies and literary journals. In 2015, the first chapter of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart (previously known as The Centre is Red) won Griffith Review’s annual writer award, which included a weeklong
fellowship at Varuna House, Australia’s prestigious writing residency.
Praise for The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart
‘The story of little Alice and how she grows and moves through darkness, trauma, fire, flood, betrayal and sadness to find her centre, own her story and claim her strength, is beautifully written, utterly appealing and completely original. Holly has laid down layer after layer of gorgeousness like she’s creating a mother-of-pearl shell; pouring into the novel all her deep love and awareness of the power of stories and storytelling, the resonance of familiar fairytales, the irresistible language of native flowers, and the cleansing power of fire.' - Catherine Milne, Publisher Harper Collins Australia
‘I was completely captivated by Holly’s novel from the very first sentence. The beautiful writing, the imagery and the subtle touch of magic makes it a novel unlike anything I’ve read. Little Alice absolutely has my heart, the image of her bobbing around in the ocean watching her despicable father disappear into the distance will stay with me for a long time. Heartbreaking and beguiling. Holly Ringland is a gem.’ - Alice Wood, Publicity & Marketing Manager Harper Collins Australia
‘Holly's novel is truly wonderful. Rich and evocative, with shades of Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers – although also entirely original. I fell in love with Alice, who we see as both a young girl and a young woman, and loved following her story as she learns to trust her heart and finally find her place in the world. I'm absolutely delighted to be publishing this book in the UK.’- Sam Humprheys, Associate Publisher, Mantle PanMcmillan UK
‘It was a Friday when I started reading the ms and it was Saturday when I turned the last page. From the beginning I was electrified, I could smell the wind and the ocean, see Agnes’ flowers and feel Alice’s and her mother’s fear – I was there, I was in Australia, a place I’ve never been, but which I felt I already knew. I was impressed by the strength of Holly’s descriptions and by the complexity of each character. This novel reminded me of the best reads of my life. A compelling debut’ - Eléonore Delair, Publisher Blanvalet/Limes, Germany
‘As a publisher, I rarely come across a story that is truly different, that makes all my instincts tick. This is exactly what I experienced with Holly’s novel. From the first page, I knew this story was going to be fantastic. It has sadness, wildness, kindness, love & betrayal, insight and wisdom, an understanding of nature and redemption. Alice Hart and her world are beautifully drawn, her story and her internal journey are memorable. This exquisite, beautifully told novel left me deeply moved.’ - Hedda Sanders, Publisher Luitingh Sijthoff, Holland
‘A remarkable combination of unforgettable characters, superb writing and a hell of a good story’. Ronnie Beck, acquisition editor, Tchelet Books – Steimatsky
‘The best fairy tales traverse the darkest corners of the human heart, and this beautiful novel is no exception. It has it all: questing and magic, struggle and triumph.' - Myfanwy Jones, author of Leap, and finalist 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award
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