❀ Sarah ❀'s Reviews > Heart of the Cross

Heart of the Cross by Emily Madden
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it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction, australia, 2019-release, netgalley, 20th-century, 21st-century

A wonderful historical fiction following three generations of the Hart family in Kings Cross, 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 from Ireland and arrive at Kings Cross to join her husband and Jimmy’s father Tom. After years of living apart Rosie quickly learns Tom is a different man. Life is not what Rosie was expecting when she imagined her life in Australia. 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 Rosie 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. Brie thought they were close but she discovers she knows little of Rosie’s past.

A captivating mystery unravels from all the three timelines. I’m not usually a fan of a story being told as a multi-narrative, but Madden ensured all three stories are as interesting as each other. Reading about Rosie from Maggie’s viewpoint provided further depth and understanding of Rosie’s character. I really enjoyed reading about The Cross, especially the 50's-60's. It is a well known location in Australia. All three women had a love interest that pulled at my heart strings, particularly Jack.

This story contains substance use, sex work, domestic and child abuse.
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Reading Progress

August 19, 2019 – Started Reading
August 22, 2019 – Shelved
August 22, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
August 22, 2019 – Shelved as: australia
August 22, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-release
August 22, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalley
August 22, 2019 – Shelved as: 20th-century
August 22, 2019 – Shelved as: 21st-century
August 22, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Somethingsnotright 5 Aussie stars! Sign me up. Lovely review Sarah :)

message 2: by ❀ Sarah ❀ (last edited Sep 07, 2019 08:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

❀ Sarah ❀ Somethingsnotright wrote: "5 Aussie stars! Sign me up. Lovely review Sarah :)"

Thank you lovely! 💕 I hope you enjoy it too 😘

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