The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart [8/10]

I have Holly Ringland’s novel The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart in my Audible audiobook library, gifted by Amazon as part of a membership, but I never began to listen. Now I don’t need to, in a sense, because a seven-episode series, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, pulses with foreboding and drama. Set in rural Australia, the tale begins with nine-year-old Alice scarred by a terrible fire consuming her parents and ending up on her grandmother’s flower farm (the film is scattered with flower arrangements and their hidden meanings), which doubles as a women’s refuge from domestic violence. The first episode, depicting the initial horrors, is brilliant, and indeed the first half of the series, based around the young Alice, is the better portion. Sparkling acting—Alyla Browne and Alycia Debnam-Carey as the young and adult Alice, Sigourney Weaver as the secretive Grandma, the hypnotic Charlie Vickers as the abusive father, and a number of supporting actors—form the core of the show’s emotional wallop, aided by Hania Rani’s wonderful film score. As I implied, the second half, witnessing Alice unpacking the secrets surrounding her life, sags a little, but the final payoff, in the final episode, is superb. Recommended.

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