Holly Ringland’s first novel, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, was published by 4th Estate in 2018. It has sold in more than thirty territories and won the Australian Book Industry Award General Fiction Book of the Year in May 2019. Bruna Papandrea’s production company Made Up Stories has acquired screen rights for a forthcoming eight-part TV series. Holly can be found at hollyringland.com.
The market seller
FictionFor as long as she could, Emily hung back among the shelves of her shop. Being near books was one of the few things that truly comforted her. Her love of fairytales in particular, for the hope in darkness within them, had been the reason she’d started her market bookshop after Robert left her with barely anything following their divorce. Emily picked up a Victorian anthology of fairytales and poems, ran her fingertips along its edges, thinking of all the ways second chances might arrive in a life. Of how much she had to offer someone, how much love she had to give, if only she could find the courage.
Might be rainbows
MemoirON THE SOUTH-WEST boundary of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, in the centre of Australia, an unmarked red-dirt track turns left off the Lasseter Highway. For the few kilometres still within park lines it’s known as Docker River Road. Beyond that point it becomes Tjukaruru Road, leading to Western Australia through Aboriginal freehold land. In 2006, as a member of the park staff, I occasionally had to go down Docker River Road for work. From the park boundary I would stare into the seemingly untouched red landscape, both delighting and recoiling at the expanse of land ahead. I had never ventured any further.