Alice Hart is a survivor: not just of the house fire that claims her parents' lives when she is nine, but also the betrayal she suffers at the hands of her grandmother June, and the dangerous lure of Dylan, a charismatic man of deceptive appearance. But to survive is not enough and Alice is on a hard-fought voyage of self-discovery, taking her from sugar cane fields by the sea to a flower farm, the Outback and back again.
Anchored in the language of native Australian flowers, this bittersweet story of transformation sensitively presents the prospect of overcoming personal trauma.
We were divided over this book. Some loved it. Some thought the plot was obvious and contrived.
This book was very popular, and beautifully written describing the landscape. We thought the ending was a bit flat, but a great read.
Our group was almost unanimous in enjoying the book. We loved the flower theme, the chapter headings and the poems. The Australian setting was beautifully described - the sayings and interweaving of Aboriginal ways were very satisfying. Thoughtful discussion.
Most of the group enjoyed the book - a couple disliked it!!
Very good, although somewhat violent.
One member felt there were too many themes running through the story, but did enjoy reading about the Australian flowers and the setting. Another member didn't enjoy it but found it a compelling read. A predictable storyline. An easy read covering grief and violence. Liked the flowers.
Our favourite this year.
We all enjoyed the book, her writing style, the various settings, and the line drawings and beautiful cover. Meanings of Australian flowers compared with English ones drew interest and comments.
We appreciated the poetic language, description of flowers and Australian landscape, but there was a bit of suspended belief regarding some plot details.
A beautifully written book. The imagery and language were so carefully phrased.
A promising beginning to the book, but it became a little superficial and even predictable. The book would have been improved by more insights into the behaviours and motivations of characters.
Personally, I really enjoyed the book. It brought back many memories of my travels in Australia in our campervan many years ago. I dug out the old photos I had taken of the many beautiful wild flowers.