Cover Image: Heart Of The Cross

Heart Of The Cross

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A family saga of three generations of strong women

Rosie Hart is from Tinahely Ireland, it’s March 1955 and she is an apprentice dressmaker.  She meets an English
man called Tom Fuller and falls in love with him. When Rosie becomes pregnant Tom marries her.

Rosie immigrates to Australia in 1959 with Jimmy her young son to to join her husband and settle in Kings Cross.  Her husband Tom has been working there for the last few years and building a new life for them.

Unfortunately once she arrives she finds the loving man she knew in Ireland has changed to become cold and cruel, he doesn’t appear to want her and his young son around and spends his nights at the pub drinking and gambling.

Fortunately Rosie has made many friends in the community of Kings Cross including her neighbour who runs a brothel.  Her friends give her their support when her husband flees and leaves her in debt.  

March 2017

Photographer Brianna Hart returns to Sydney for her beloved grandmother Rosie’s funeral and to settle her estate, she hasn’t seen Rosie for a long time.  Brie discovers her grandmother had many hidden secrets, including some of unmentionable tragedy and loss.  Brie was raised by her grandmother Rosie because her mother Maggie died tragically when Brie was young.  Brie doesn’t even know who her father is and is determined to find out the truth and where she belongs.

It was wonderful to be transported back in time to Kings Cross in the 1950’s such an exciting and vibrant place with it’s cultural diversity and it’s dark and seedy side.

This story with its colourful characters and intriguing family saga is wonderfully written and kept me engaged from beginning to end, a really enjoyable read!

Thank you to Netgalley & Harlequin Australia for the ARC in return for an honest review
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This was such an enjoyable novel. Set through the years from the 1950s where we meet Rosie, then in 1984 when we meet Rosie again along with her daughter Maggie, then to Brie's journey in 2017. We slowly uncover the life of Rosie, who immigrated from Ireland hoping for a good life with her husband, and who ends up in King's Cross with a small child and a man she no longer recognises.

The three timelines were all very different, and I loved the way Emily Madden was able to weave them all together to create a story full of emotion and intrigue, right up to the very last page.

I think Rosie's life in the 1950s was my favourite, living the trials that Rosie faced in a new country where nothing turned out the way she expected, was at times heartbreaking and hard to read, but there was a strength in Rosie that was awoken due to her circumstances and showed just what the human spirit is capable of. The friendships Rosie cultivated in Kings Cross were ones that had an impact on the rest of her life, as she had impacted those in return.

Brie's life as a photographer, travelling the globe chasing disasters was very different from Rosie's life, where Rosie drew people to her, Brie pushed people away, never wanting to get close. When Rosie passes and Brie returns to Australia there are many surprises in store for her as she uncovers some incredible secrets that Rosie has kept from her her whole life, including that of her mother, Maggie, and her unknown father. I thought the way Brie changed after coming home, how she made new friendships and reignited old ones was affirming in that we are never too old or too set in our ways to not be able to make connections.

As the secrets were uncovered, and the book neared the end, I began to wonder how on earth it was all going to end, there were a fair few times I had to put the book down and take some breaths (I drove my mother insane with my comments of "oh my god" every 5 minutes, as she was reading this at the same time and didn't appreciate my dramatics, making her wonder what on earth was happening, lol). I was kept guessing right to the end just how it was all going to come together and how it was all going to turn out, I do admit to wanting just a fraction more at the end, I really wanted to know what happened next, and sat there in stunned silence when the story ended. 

A fabulous read that I highly recommend.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Mira Australia for providing me with a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.
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I love Emily Madden books and this one is no exception . Told from 3 different perspectives , on three different timelines with a hint of mystery and romance . A fantastic read by one if our many great Australian authors .
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Book blurb...
From Ireland to Kings Cross, a legacy of loss and hope echoes across the generations ... 
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. 
Rose Bay, 1984 
Haunted by her past, Rosie is determined her daughter Maggie will follow the path she has set out for her. But Maggie has plans of her own, and Rosie can only pray the grief that plagues the Hart name won't follow her. 
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. Is the Hart family's legacy of loss inescapable, or has Rosie gifted her granddaughter with a future of hope? 
My thoughts…
I still remember my first Emily Madden - The Lost Pearl - and this novel is as memorable for all the right reasons.
The story reflects on Rosie and Maggis’s life in Sydney’s famous Kings Cross and the descriptions of the area are fabulous. I could easily visualise the happenings in the streets and the houses.  The characters are indeed strong women carrying hearts full of regret from the secrets they've kept and the relationships they've lost.
A story for the TBR pile from another great Australian author.
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What an amazing, complex and utterly wonderful book this has been. Heart of the Cross is multi-layered, telling the story of an amazing woman, Rosie Hart, who emigrated to Australia in the 1950’s to join her husband and raise their son in a new land only to discover that her dreams were merely illusions. I loved Rosie’s strength, her kindness, her dedication and her sense of purpose, but most of all I loved that Rosie picked herself up again and again when truly dreadful things happened to her and found ways to deal with the adversity and to grow stronger still. 
Her granddaughter Brianna is another strong woman and I loved learning about her as she slowly unravelled the truths about her grandmother’s and mother’s lives. This book has been a joy to read and is definitely one I’ll be returning to in the future.
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I was swept away by this family saga about three generations of woman that would span over two continents to bring us heartache, secrets, regrets, lies, loss, love, struggle, hope but most of all family.  The Hart women are strong, determined and loving woman that with making mistakes in the journey of love and life.  Rosaline, Maggie and Brianna Hart all tell their POV during this book with the time changing from 2017 back to 1959 from the small town in Ireland to Kings Cross in Sydney Australia.  I was with great joy that I had the chance to read this book that I received an ARC copy from NetGalley and the Publishers.  I had not read a book by Emily Madden before but have wanted to read “The Lost Pearl” after reading the blurb some time ago.  I was not disappointed in this book once in got my head in it I have hooked the sweet and bitter end with a few tears along the way.

Rosaline – Rosie Hart/ Rosie Fuller arrived in Australia with her three-year-old son Jimmy to be reacquainted with her husband Tom Fuller.  That had met in Ireland some 4 years ago and married after Rosie become pregnant but Tom had dreams of Australia so he left before Jimmy was born to set up a home for them in Australia.  The husband that she found in Sydney was not the husband that left Ireland all those years ago.
Maggie Hart left her overbearing controlling mother at the age of 16 to live with her best friend.  Maggie was a very good student with straight A’s and the plan was to become a doctor but she wanted to live a little first have what we know now as a Gab Year.  She soon found herself a job behind a bar in Kings Cross.  Soon the plans for becoming a doctor disappears as does the contact with her mother.

Brianna – Brie Hart is living in Japan when she gets the call that her beloved grandmother as passed away.  Brie is a photographer that travels the world taking photos of natural destructions which suit her very free spirit and adventures nature.  She soon learns when she returns to Australia there is more than just the loss of her Grandmother to deal with as a mystery unravels of a life her Grandmother lived and kept a secret from her all these years.

This is a wonderful Australian historical fiction story about tragedy, love, loss that will hit on some strong topics from domestic abuse, child abuse, prostitution, drug usage but also so will give you a look at gender and social equality way before it was accepted in the mainstream of our lives today.  The history of Kings Cross was very interesting for me to read about.  I would highly recommend this book and look forward to reading many more books by Emily Madden in the future.

One of my best read for this year a must-read.
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‘Feathers are brave—they go where the wind takes them. Feathers are patient—they arrive at their destination, fall to the ground and wait. And they’re strong—just like the Hart women.’

Heart of the Cross is wonderful historical fiction by Aussie author Emily Madden and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Once again, I found her writing to be rich and engaging with this novel firmly cementing her as a ‘go to’ or ‘must read’ author. On this occasion, we have three timelines, with three women - Rose, Maggie and Brie - all from the same family. The emotions that flow through all three stories demonstrate a real dignified strength and determination.

There is much to appreciate with plenty on offer given there is such an extended timeline. A rich and fulfilling family saga most certainly, that is filled with not only the expected sadness and heartaches, but also keeps you eagerly turning pages with an enticing mystery, slowly unfurled with puzzle pieces gradually placed together. Then there is also the setting, Kings Cross (Sydney, Australia) - almost a character within itself. It was fascinating to watch this iconic destination transform over the years and I especially enjoyed the 1950's-60's time period. At my age, I also could smirk over many of the 80s references such as Island Cooler’s that brought back some fond times. 

However, at its heart this is a story of great tragedy held together by the firm ties of family and friendship despite all of the many hardships. Each main character  held her own in their given time period (Rose has to be a firm favourite with all she endured and then achieved in her lifetime) and you easily transition from Rose in the 50s to Maggie her daughter, to then Brie in the present day. The voices of all three women were strong and relatable. All in all, this is a wonderful story, incredibly heartwarming amidst the heartache and one which I highly recommend.

‘You can travel to the ends of the earth, Brie, but one day you’ll realise that what you were looking for was right here all along. Only then it might be too late.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.
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Heart of the Cross is a wonderful historical fiction following the story of three generations of the Hart family.  All three women are connected to Kings Cross in Sydney, Australia.

“This was the dark heart of Sydney.  Where people were drawn to the neon lights like moths to a flame – pulled into a web of the after-dark world … every wild ride you can think of, everything you want to indulge in is here.”

In the 1950’s, Rosie and her toddler Jimmy travel the world from Ireland and arrive at Kings Cross in Sydney to join her husband and Jimmy’s father Tom, after years of being apart.  Life is not what Rosie was expecting when she imagined her life in Australia.  Tom is not the same person she married.  Rosie makes friends with many delightful characters at The Cross quickly and with ease.   An incredible life marked with strength, courage and tragedy.
Rosie’s daughter Maggie joins the story in 1984.  Maggie is a very smart and capable young women pushed by her mother to excel in her studies so she can become a doctor.  Maggie has a bright future but her mother worries about the dark lure of the Cross.  
In 2017 Brie, a free spirit, traverses the world chasing tumultuous weather for work.  After learning of her grandmothers passing Brie travels home to Kings Cross to attend to Rosie’s funeral and settle the estate.  Though they were close, Brie discovers she knows little of Rosie’s life.   

A delightful mystery unravels from all the tree timelines.  I’m not usually a fan of a story being told from multiple characters point of view, but Madden worked her magic to ensure all three-story lines are just as interesting as each other.  Reading about Rosie from Maggie’s point of view provided further depth and understanding of Rosie’s character.   I really enjoyed reading about The Cross, it is well known location in Australia.  All three women have a love interests that pulled at my heart strings, particularly Jack.

This story includes substance use, sex work, domestic and child abuse.

Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin Australia for providing me with a free e-edition in exchange for an honest review.
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Emily Madden your stories are amazing and beautiful, I loved how you bought three woman to life, how strongly I felt the emotions flowing through them all, the lives they lived the things that happened to them and above all else the strength and courage Rosie, Maggie and Brie show. This is a must read set in three timelines that starts in Ireland and ends in Kings Cross Australia, I loved it.

Rosie Hart is mother to young Jimmy, her husband has already been in Australia setting up a home for her and their son and in 1959 Rosie decides that it is time to make the move, she ends up in Kings Cross and that her husband is not the man that she thought he was, life throws some tough balls for Rosie but she never gives up and is soon earning her keep and finding love.

Maggie Hart, is Rosie’s daughter, she is smothered by her mother’s over protection and moves out at a young age and works in a bar and after a tragedy and discovering that she is pregnant decides that it is time to finally go to university, her relationship with her mother is strained and when it looks like there might be a bit of change with that, another tragedy happens.

Brianna Hart is Maggie’s daughter, Brie is raised by Rosie in Rose Bay and is encouraged to aim high, she becomes a photographer traveling the word covering natural disasters, but when Rosie dies and she is left an apartment in Kings Cross there are a lot of secrets that need to be uncovered.

I am tearing up writing this review, and I do hope I do it justice, because it is such an awesome story, the emotions and characters that we meet along the way, the beautiful woman in Rosie who is strong and caring the tragedies that she goes through and then Maggie, can Brie find love and move into the future with hope for love and happiness for herself and future Hart woman? I have to say that the eulogy from Brie for her grandmother about feathers is just so beautiful. Thank you Emily Madden for a story that will stay with me for a long time to come.
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Rosie Hart is strong, tenacious and a survivor. She's the grandmother we'd all love to have. And yet, she has her secrets. It is her beloved granddaughter, Brianna who must unravel them after her death. Told over three generations, Rosie, her daughter, Maggie and granddaughter Brianna, the story is told from the shores of Ireland to the slums of Kings Cross through history. I loved all three strong female characters and the way the story was interwoven amongst them all. Fabulous historical fiction from a fabulous Australian writer.
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This is a stunning story that tells the story of three generations of the Hart woman who all resided in or had ties to  around Kings Cross a suburb of Sydney

The first generation is Rosie Hart she followed her husband to Australia from Ireland he had arrived a few years earlier than her When she finally arrives she discovers a husband that no longer wants her or their family she has to strike out on her own but the people of the cross rally around the young single mum The next generation is the story of Maggie Rosie's daughter she is a highly educated woman who wants to do things her way and strike out on her own away from her domineering mother . The third member of this family is Brie the granddaughter on the death of her grandmother she returns to the Cross and starts to unravel the secrets of her family when she realises she knows very little about them. This is a story that is deeply personnel and draws you in It was an absolute pleasure to read and the fact that it is set in my home town of Sydney was an added bonus
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Three years after Rosie Hart had married Tom Fuller, she left Ireland for Sydney, Australia with their two-year-old son Jimmy. Young and naïve, Rosie was excited to be seeing Tom again. She knew his letters had lessened in the past few months, but she wanted Jimmy to know his dad. But Kings Cross in 1959 wasn’t something Rosie was prepared for, and the fact that Tom had changed and seemed not to want them there meant the marriage was doomed. Rosie had made some good friends, and she and Jimmy gradually made a future for themselves. 

Rosie’s daughter Maggie was sixteen years old when she moved out of home and into a flat with her best friend. She’d had enough of her mother’s domineering ways and was determined to live her life her own way, not be told by her mother what she could and couldn’t do. A straight "A" student, Maggie knew she could go far, but she needed the gap year for herself.

It was 2017 when top photographer Brianna Hart returned to Sydney for her grandmother’s funeral. She was saddened that she hadn’t seen Rosie in some time but her shock when she saw their home had been sold was just the beginning of a list of secrets that her grandmother had kept from her. Brie was hurt and confused by her beloved grandmother’s reticence but as she slowly discovered the truth, she realized Rosie had been through much heartache over her life. But would Brie find all the answers?

Heart of the Cross is an exceptional historical fiction novel by Aussie author Emily Madden which I thoroughly enjoyed. Set in three timelines, and covering the lives of the three Hart women, Ms Madden conveys the strength and determination of all three women well. Heartbreaking and emotional, Heart of the Cross is another winner by this author, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next. Highly recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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What a wonderful, heartwarming book.  This is the first book I have read by Emily Madden, being new to this genre this year.  I am so happy that I decided to branch out this year otherwise I would never have discovered this gem.  I love books set in my hometown of Sydney and this book was so descriptive I felt like I was there. Sydney in the 1950's certainly was a very different place and I loved being transported back there with every page. This would make a lovely movie or mini series.

The Heart of the Cross tells the story of 3 strong women whose lives are full of secrets, love and tragedy.  3 generations of the one family and they go through a lot of drama in their lives. Rosie moves to Australia in the 1950's to follow her husband, bringing their young son for a better life.  But when she gets here her husband is not the man she married back in Ireland and her fight for survival begins. The people of Kings Cross rally around her and she makes friends with the least likely of people and her life changes for the better.  Her own daughter Maggie doesn't have a much easier life, with Rosie being a very protective mother.  In 2017 Rosie passes away and Brie returns to Australia for the funeral and to settle the estate.  She learns that Rosie has left everything to her.  Brie starts to realise that she knows very little about her grandmother and mothers upbringing.  The family secrets start to be exposed  and every discovery she becomes closer to her past.

Thank yo Harlequin Books Australia and Netgalley for my advanced copy of this book to read.  All opinions are my own and in no way biased.
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Copy received via Netgalley for an honest review

Across decades, across generations, across continents, Emily Madden has given us another beautiful story of love, lies and the truths that come out long after we are gone.

I love the setting of the melting pot that is Kings Cross. Growing up in Sydney, yes, the Cross does have a reputation, however it is a wonderful place too.

Told from Rosie, Maggie and Brie's POV over a 50 year period, I was swept away with their lives, their loves, their losses.

I wasn't sure where this story was going to take me, and I was surprised at times with what was happening. I think I spent the last 10% of the story reading through tears.

Ms Madden has a wonderful way of writing. I feel like I am part of the story as I impatiently turn each page.

I am now looking forward to what she brings us next.
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This was a great story covering three generations of the Hart family.  It starts with Rosaleen, later known as 'Rosie' a young Irish woman who migrates to Australia in the mid-sixties with her small son to join her English husband.  After an extended period apart Rosie discovers that her Tom is not the man that she thought she had married.  However, her fellow residents of King's Cross soon rally and make her feel welcome.
The story transitions between this time in Rosie's life and a more contemporary period that focusses on Rosie's grand-daughter Brie who returns to Australia after the death of her beloved grandmother.  She soon starts to discover how little she knew about her grandmother's earlier life and who her own parents were.
It is quite a heartwarming story, I just felt that it all finished up a little quickly given the build up to Brie's final discoveries about herself and her family.
Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin Australia for the opportunity to review this digital ARC.
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This book was a surprise . What i thought was going to happen didn’t which gave it a little bit of mystery.

The story is about a young girl brought up by her grandmother and the truths she discovers when her grandmother dies.
It goes between the present and the past which the author did very well. 

I gave it four stars as I still had unanswered questions at the end.
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Heart of The Cross by author Emily Madden is a surprise read full of intrigue and suspense. It is a story that left this reader wondering the whereabouts of characters throughout the narrative and trying to piece the happenings within the story, making it impossible to put down in many instances. A great read from start to finish.
Review copy received from Harlequin MIRA via Netgalley
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‘Let me tell you something, and mark my words.  The Cross, it’s like nowhere else in Australia.’

Tinehaly, Ireland, 1955.  Rosie Hart meets Tom Fuller. She becomes pregnant, they quickly marry.  Tom had always planned to leave for Australia: the plan was that he’d send money to Rosie so that she and their baby could join him.  In 1959, Rosie and her son Jimmy travel to Australia to join Tom.  Rosie quickly discovers that Tom’s life in Kings Cross has no space for her or for Jimmy.  In the 1950s Kings Cross was a melting pot, a fascinating blend of the best and the worst of society. Rosie is a survivor: she’s learned some hard lessons, but she makes a life for herself.

In 1984, Rosie wants her daughter Maggie to avoid the pitfalls that Rosie fell into.  But she’s not taken Maggie’s desire to live her own life into account.

In 2017, Rosie dies.  Her granddaughter Brianna (Brie) returns to Australia to arrange her funeral and then stays to settle her estate.  Brie quickly finds that Rosie’s estate is not straightforward.  More mysteries, to add to the fact that Brie was raised by Rose, and Rose always avoided answering questions about Brie’s parents. As Brie works through her grandmother’s affairs, she discovers that Rosie owned an apartment and a coffee shop in Kings Cross. Brie, still grieving for her grandmother, is intrigued. 

The story moves between Rosie and Brie, between past and present. Rosie’s secrets are uncovered, while Brie considers how the past might influence her future. 

 ‘Every family has a little crazy.  I say there are three things that every family has—secrets, scandals and loose screws.’

If you enjoy family sagas, with their mixture of sadness, secrets and triumphs across several generations, you may also enjoy this novel.  I especially liked the setting, the transformation of Kings Cross over half a century, and I loved Rosie.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Australia for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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Thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin Australia for giving me the opportunity to read Emily Madden's new book The Heart Of The Cross.

Ireland, 1959 Rosie Hart leaves Tinahely to emigrate to Australia with her young son Jimmy and to be reunited with her husband Tom Fuller.
She and Tom meet in Ireland, he's originally from England, they fall in love, Rosie soon discovers she's pregnant and they quickly marry. Tom has grand plans to move to Australia, he leaves pregnant Rosie behind in Ireland while he moves to Australia to work and save money to send for his wife and son.

Rosie and young Jimmy arrive in Sydney excited to finally be a family but it doesn't take long for Rosie to notice that Tom has changed and not for the better! He's not the best husband or a loving father. They live in Kings Cross, Rosie makes the best of a bad situation, she makes many new friends and they help her adjust to living in a new country. They also help her when her marriage eventually fails and she has to start supporting herself and her young son.

Kings Cross in the 1950's was an interesting place it had it's good side, a lot of people migrated to Australia after the end of WW II and they introduce the locals to all kinds of new food and most of all real coffee! But it had it's dark seedy side that involved crime, prostitution, violence, gambling, strip clubs and drug use.
Just as Rosie's dream for a better life for her and her son becomes true she experiences a huge life changing loss.

Rose Bay, 1984 Maggie Hart is living with her mum Rosie, her mum pushes Maggie to study, she wants her to do well at high school and become a doctor.
Maggie gets tired of her mother's controlling ways, she wants to have fun and decides once she's finishes school to have a gap year. Maggie leaves home to share a flat with her best friend and they both soon discover the bad side to Kings Cross. Maggie eventually turns her life around but she makes the fateful decision to stop all contact with her mother Rosie, this turns out to be her biggest mistake and one that causes a lot of grief.

Sydney, 2017 Brianna Hart returns to Australia when her grandmother Rosie suddenly dies, her gran is a successful business women and loved by the local community. As Brianna organizes her grans funeral she finds out that her grandmother has been making changes to her life that she knew nothing about and she has even sold her house. While organizing settlement of her grandmother's estate she discovers that her gran owns a secret apartment and coffee shop in Kings Cross that she had no idea about? 
Brianna has always been curious about why she was raised by her grandmother and she has no idea who her father is? Rosie has always dodged questions about Brianna's mother Maggie and now that she has passed away Brianna is worried about what else her gran has been hiding from her and will she ever be able to find out the truth about her father?

Brianna starts slowly going through her grandmothers things by doing so she not only discovers what happened to her grandmother and mother, it also makes her think about her own life. Brianna travels the world as a photographer, she never stays in one place for very long and her romantic relationships never last.
While in Sydney Brianna starts to consider her own future, she catches up with her old school friends, and her first love Josh, she also discovers he's the manager of her grandmother's coffee shop that she has kept a secret.

The Heart Of The Cross is a family saga, it delves into family secrets and I really enjoyed discovering the connection between the three main characters, Rosie, Maggie and Brianna. I also found it interesting to read about Kings Cross, yes you do discover the bad side to "the cross" but you also learn about it's cultural diversity and so much more!
I loved the book, I gave it fours stars and I look forward to reading Emily Madden's previous book The Lost Pearl, I did buy it a few months ago, I haven't read it yet and I'm very keen to read it now.
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From Ireland to Kings Cross, a legacy of loss and hope echoes across the generations. In 1955, Tinahely, Ireland, Rosie Hart has big dreams and determination to become a dressmaker-she has great potential because she is smart-her mother Aoife Hart is strong woman who tells her to not to get distracted by a man and apply herself to achieve her dreams, but when Rosie meets Englishman Tom Fuller at a Irish bar, she falls head over heels in love him and after a rather quick courtship, marries him, and after some years, in 1959, immigrates to Sydney, Australia with her young son Jimmy to reunite with Tom so they could begin a great life together and have a brighter future, she is full of hope that her marriage will be great. They make their home in Kings Cross, but as Rosie is tries her very best to create a home for her family, she realises that Tom was not the man she thought she'd married, as he turns out to be an abusive and questionable man. She therefore discovers that there is no room for her or their young son in the life Tom has built in vibrant Kings Cross. As their marriage disintegrates, Rosie decides to rely on herself to make sure her son has a golden future, by making ends meet and soon, she finds hope in the form of supportive friends and new love. Unfortunately, Rosie's hopes for a better life are soon turned to dust when an unforeseen tragedy strikes and her world is shattered. Nearly two decades later, Rosie's daughter Maggie Hart, is determined to move out of home because she is tired of Rosie's constant nagging and pushing of her to make something of herself, and Maggie just wants to live her life on her own terms, Rosie and Maggie's relationship has always been tumultuous because Rosie is still haunted by her tragic past. It is now 1984, and Kings Cross has turned into a crime ridden and drugs trade area, known for all the wrong reasons. Maggie moves out of home and after a period of some progress, starts losing her way, especially when she discovers that all she had worked for had been for nothing, which is then followed by a series of personal tragedies that send Maggie on a downward spiral. In present day Kings Cross in 2017, Brianna Hart, Rosie's granddaughter and Maggie's daughter has returned  back to Sydney to organise her late grandmother's affairs and will, Brianna is bereaved because she and Rosie have always been close as Rosie raised her after Maggie died. Rosie had always been a well loved and respected businesswoman by those who knew her. But as Brianna gets down to brass tacks about Rosie's will and funeral planning, she discovers a lot of hidden information that Rosie never told her about, such as her connection to Kings Cross by bequeathing Brianna a secret apartment, as well as her son Jimmy and her marriage to Tom. As Brie pieces together the clues to Rosie's past,  she starts to unravel an incredible and heart breaking story about love, passion, violence and tragedy behind the Rosie she thought she knew. Brianna had always been a drifter, she is a professional news photographer who never seems to find where she truly belongs. Brie's piecing of the past leads her to rediscover who she truly is and whether the life she is living right now, is what she truly wants. This was a wonderful and inspirational novel about how a strong woman, despite a legacy of loss, had truly given her granddaughter a gift of hope, and that belonging doesn't mean living in some place, it's about being with people who appreciate who you really are and that's what home truly feels like. I loved this quote from Rosie: "Hope is like a feather. Feathers are brave-they go where the wind takes them. Feathers are patient-they arrive at their destination, fall to the ground and wait. And they're strong." I also enjoyed learning more about the history of the infamous Kings Cross, which is always known for drugs and active nightlife as well as its brothels. Kings Cross must have been truly something back in its heyday, it was liberal than most of Australia was at the time, and it was a place where people felt they could truly be their true selves as there was always an authenticity to the place. After the Second World War, Kings Cross became a multicultural area filled with migrants such as Irish and Italians and Americans who brought their culture with them and made the area diverse.  Another outstanding novel by Emily Madden, I enjoyed her previous novel, The Lost Pearl. I look forward to her future works.
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