BOOK CLUB: Heart of the Cross

ISBN: 9781489251367 / $29.99
Copy courtesy of Harper Collins Australia

By Emily Madden

A sweeping family saga that starts in Ireland and ends in Sydney spanning a period of 60 years – the story of three women and three generations.
Rosie Hart arrives in Australia and settles in Kings Cross in 1959 with stars in her eyes and a young son from Ireland to begin a new life in Sydney with her husband who has been working there to build a life for them.

Unfortunately, the kind man she married in Ireland has changed over the three years they were apart, and she finds that marriage is not bliss. Fortunately, she has very caring neighbours and finds herself working for one of them to put food on the table and save some money to escape her troubled marriage.

Her neighbour runs a brothel and needs someone to help with the financial side of the business. When Rosie’s husband flees, she is left with nothing, no money and a debt that her husband has run up with the local cartel. She has no choice but to provide for her son.

heart of the cross

Fast forward to 2017 and Brianna Hart is informed that her grandmother Rosie, who raised her from a young girl has passed away, and she must return to Kings Cross to settle the estate and her grandmother’s affairs. As she has led a rather nomadic life as a photographer over the years, she has no real base, but dreads coming back as she fled a relationship some years ago at home.

Brie’s mother Maggie tragically passed away when Brie was just 4 years old and has no knowledge of who her father was as Rosie either didn’t know or has taken that secret to her grave. Maggie who was Brie’s mother was a very bright spirited girl who had a brilliant future as a doctor before she was tragically killed. She was estranged from Rosie for some time as she refused to be told who and what she should do with her life.

So many lives affected by secrets and lies. Brie is determined to find out about her family, despite the old love of her life reappearing on the scene when she returns to Sydney. She is the only beneficiary in her grandmother’s will – or is she?

This book was wonderfully written and kept me enthralled from beginning to end. I loved Emily’s last book The Lost Pearl, and I believe this genre suits the writer beautifully. Wonderfully researched and plotted and gave a great depiction of the lives of these women lead in their respective eras.

Readers of Women’s Fiction and Historical Fiction will love this story. Thank you to #beautyandlace #HarperCollins #Harlequinmira for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Heart of the Cross by Emily Madden. You can read their reviews in the comments section below, and we welcome you to contribute to our discussion.

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