The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
- Method of Obtaining: I won my copy via LibraryThing.
- Published by: Ballentine Books
- Release Date: 8/23/2011
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.
Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what’s been missing in her life, and when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
- I’ve seen really good reviews on this one.
Normally, I’m a bit hesitant to start books which focus so specifically on one certain idea or gimmick and this time was no different. I have had The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh on my shelf for months, but was intimidated by the actual language of flowers that it held – I wasn’t certain I was in the mood, every time I picked it up, to be overwhelmed with information about flowers and, since I have the closest thing to a black thumb a girl can get, I was more than a little intimidated by it.
What ended up happening was when I finally made the choice to pick the book up and dove into the story, my heart was captured by Victoria. She was tough, ruthless, and the complete opposite of me, making decisions I couldn’t comprehend. Every time I expected the story to take a predictable turn, Victoria made a decision that shocked me – and it happened over, and over again. So I thought maybe that would be predictable – but then it just wasn’t.
There are several stories in this narrative: the story of Victoria finding a place, Victoria’s history, the stories in miniature of those who needed Victoria’s help, and more. Each story was spun slowly, which meant that the resolution of the book came even more sweetly.
I don’t recommend this book if you are looking for a feel good, happy story. It’s more about healing, finding oneself, and examining the failings of a corrupt system which takes advantage of a young child who desperately needs a home.
Don’t just take my word for it! Check out what these bloggers say!