The Tin Heart Gold Mine

Ruth HartleyBook Launch, Colonialism, Politics, Southern Africa, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, Truth, Visual Arts4 Comments

I am delighted to tell you about my latest book!

The cover shows a tin heart nailed to a tree with the book title in gold across it

“The Tin Heart Gold Mine” by Ruth Hartley. Cover design by Terry Compton Design

The Tin Heart Gold Mine is the story of Lara, a young and gifted wildlife artist. She lives and works in Chambeshi, a fictional African country whose increasing destabilisation by the Cold War results in riots and a coup attempt. Success has come early for Lara but she is not satisfied. She wants to understand the true measure of artistic worth. What kind of gold will give her life real value and merit?

Tim and Oscar

At an exhibition of her work she meets two very different men who have an enormous influence on her. Tim, an investigative journalist, becomes her friend. Oscar offers to make her rich by promoting her art. Lara likes Tim but is attracted to Oscar, who owns the small and unproductive Tin Heart gold mine yet is surprisingly wealthy and powerful. She wants love but how easy is it to tell the difference between love and sex in a new relationship? Does her thirst for success make her susceptible to Oscar even if his past and the source of his money are shrouded in mystery?

What Golden Secrets are there at the Tin Heart Gold Mine?

Lara lives through a time full of confusion and conflict as the colonial era comes to an end and Chambeshi struggles with the fallout from the Cold War and its lack of development. She wants to focus only on the wilderness, wild animals and the success she craves for as a wildlife artist. She discovers instead that love brings danger and uncertainty. What are the secrets hidden at the Tin Heart gold mine?


The story begins in London several years after Lara has left Chambeshi. Tim is leaving Lara and her son Adam to return to Africa. He is furious because Lara has received a legacy from Oscar, now apparently dead. The legacy includes some paintings by the German Expressionist Otto Dix of the First World War. As the past unburies itself Lara collapses into depression. Will she be able to survive all the betrayals of her past? Will she be able to carry making art?

BUY The Tin Heart Gold Mine


The Tin Heart Gold Mine
Attend the
Fri 24 March 2017 19:00
Café du Centre, Maubourguet


4 Comments on “The Tin Heart Gold Mine”

  1. ellen rugen

    A very thought provoking book complemented by this website and blog which makes a fascinating tapestry of your life, thoughts, writings and art.

    1. Ruth Hartley

      Thank you Ellen – it was lovely meeting you – next time we may have more time to talk about the process of writing too.

  2. Judith

    This book grabs the imagination and keeps one guessing…. If you love art and Africa, this is for you!

    1. Ruth Hartley

      Hi Judith – thank you very much for your lovely comment about my story. It sounds as if you too, are an artist – and maybe someone who lives in Africa as well as loves it. I hope that you will keep on looking at my posts – I write about both art – writing- and the parts of Africa that I too, love. Ruth

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