Great Conversations – Holly Ringland

Great conversations is a look back at some of the fantastic authors and writers we feature every week on Final Draft. It’s not always possible to use the full conversation live to air and this is your chance to discover more secrets and hidden gems about the books you love…

Today’s Great Conversation is with Holly Ringland. Holly’s debut novel is The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart and is a beautiful exploration of life and the magical continent of Australia. Taking the reader into the childhood of Alice Hart and allowing us to grow up alongside her, it has fast become a Final Draft favourite.

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

We meet Alice as a child. She lives with her family in a seaside village, where the family have carved out a seeming idyllic existence that is deceptively hard to place historically. Alice loves her mother, but is perplexed by her father’s moods. Together they potter in the garden and it is not until Alice runs away to the local library that we get e true sense of the family’s isolation.

Following a tragic fire Alice must leave the town and travel inland to live with her heretofore unknown Grandmother June. June’s farm, Thornfield is a home for women with nowhere else to go and Alice soon falls into the rhythms of nurturing the exotic native flowers that the women are famed for. Under her June’s tutelage and care Alice slowly recovers from her trauma and comes to know the legacy of the flowers and their secret language. But June is harbouring a secret that she will do anything to keep lest she lose her granddaughter’s love.

A Question of Healing

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart takes an unflinching look at the impacts and effects of domestic violence and the promise of moving on through the power of connection. Through the language of the flowers, Alice discovers a world that expands her understanding and offers hope when it seems there may be none. In Alice, Holly Ringland has forged a protagonist that confronts the reality of violence without succumbing, and opens up the conversation of how we confront this invidious social problem.

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is out now from Harper Collins

Final Draft is produced and presented by Andrew Pople

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