Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Book Review: Heart of the Cross by Emily Madden

Heart of the Cross
Emily Madden

From Ireland to Kings Cross, a legacy of loss and hope echoes across the generations ...

Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises Australia
Imprint: Mira-AU
Publication date: 19th August 2019 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 400
RRP: $29.99AUD  
Format read: Trade paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher

Tinahely, Ireland, 1959 Rosie Hart is content leaving her home behind to follow her new husband to Australia. But she soon discovers there is no room for her or their young son in the life he has built in vibrant Kings Cross. As their marriage crumbles, Rosie will need to fight for the golden future her son deserves ... until the day her world is shattered and all hope turns to dust.

Eighteen years later, haunted by her past, Rosie is determined her daughter Maggie will follow the path she has set out for her. But when Maggie rejects her plans and moves out of home, all Rosie can hope is that she has also left behind the grief that plagues the Hart name.

Sydney, 2017 When her grandmother dies and leaves Brianna Hart a secret apartment in Kings Cross, Brie wonders what else Rosie was keeping from her. As Brie chases the truth of Rosie's past she uncovers an incredible story of passion, violence, love and tragedy.

Heart of the Cross is a heartfelt story of love, tragedy and loss told across three generations of Hart women. This multiple time line novel will have you cheering for these three strong women.

Rosie falls head over heels for Tom Fuller. When she falls pregnant Tom marries her and moves to Australia to set up a new life for them. When Rosie and their son move from Ireland to Australia to join him, Tom is a changed man and Rosie knows no-one.
The story follows Rosie as she makes a life for herself in Sydney’s Kings Cross whilst her husband spends his nights drinking and gambling. She has a hard loveless marriage however Rosie is vibrant and kind making friends with everyone around her. She is loved by this close community.

Maggie feels smothered by her over-controlling mother who monitors every aspect of her life. She moves out of home with best friend Sharon and they soon become embroiled in the bright lights of the Kings Cross night life.

Brianna is back in Sydney for her Grandma’s funeral only to find out her grandmother has sold the house. The more people she talks to the more she wonders if she really knew her grandmother at all. Secrets are uncovered and many more questions are left unanswered.

“Are you saying that secrets are a good thing? Secrets are just like telling lies.”
“All I’m saying is that if you dig, be prepared for the sting.”

Brought up by her grandmother Brie knew nothing of her mother and even who her father was. She now feels betrayed and hurt that Rosie kept all these secrets from her. She is determined to dig and reveal the truth and find out where she belongs.

Madden has written a heartbreakingly real story of Sydney in the early 1960’s and the struggle for married women with no rights. She includes themes of love, family, belonging, friendship and the kindness of strangers. The three women prove to be strong and resilient with Rosie becoming a legend in her time.


My rating    5/5

This review is part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge
book #32 in the Australian Women Writers challenge


Photo credit: Goodreads
I am a book nerd, coffee lover and love anything 80’s (except the fashion, okay, I admit – I like some of it).

My love of books started at a young age when I would often go shopping with my mum just so I could score yet another novel. Nothing has changed – I rarely leave a bookstore without a book.

I read anything and everything, but stories that touch the heart and uplift the soul are what I love the most.

I have an unnatural obsession with needing to be close to the ocean, but am terrified of deep water.


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