Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.

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.
~~synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts on The Language of Flowers~

OMG, I love this book! I was first drawn to it because of the cover. That will not come as a surprise to any of you that have been around for awhile. I am a cover lover and this one is beautiful ~~ it caught my eye the very first time I saw it. 

And the story is beautiful as well. Victoria had to go through so much as a young child and young adult. The reader immediately wants to see her succeed and be happy. But how can she be? She feels she does not deserve to be happy. 

Through her love of flowers and her knowledge of the language of flowers, she is finally able to make a life for herself but she is always fearful that it won't last. She does not want to let people get too close to her. She has had to be on her own her whole life and she learned cannot depend on anyone. 

I loved how Victoria could 'read' people and was able to give them the flowers that would have the most meaning to them and would make a change in their lives. It seemed very magical or spiritual to me and it reminded me of the book Chocolat and how the shop owner, Vianne Rocher, could find the right chocolate for her customers and change their lives.

This is such a moving story. I savored the book and found myself reading it slowly so that it wouldn't have to end. I also had to take breaks from it to allow my tears to dry. This book touched my heart and made me feel like I was a part of Victoria's life.

 What an amazing book! 


  1. This is the second raving review I have read on this book. I definitely have to get it now.

  2. I found myself smelling the flowers as I read the book. It was like an experience in synesthesia. Sometimes I smelled roses, then peppermint, then cherry blossoms. I was mesmerized by the book and the flower metaphors that prevailed. I loved the way The Language of Flowers showed how Victoria was able to escape her locked in world of fear, to reach out in a way that only someone else well-versed in her floral knowledge could respond to. When Grant and Victoria start a correspondence with flowers, the reader can't help but root for them to overcome all the many obstacles in their paths.

    This is a book filled with pain and anguish, ameliorated to some extent by the beauty of floral language that the protagonist is well-versed in. Without this language, she would be alone, cut off from everyone and without a way to communicate. It's her own personal way of signing as she is deaf to the true meaning of the spoken word. Her life of group home after group home has dulled her senses, scared her out of trying intimacy and prevented her from normal attachment.

  3. I would love to read this book. Are you running a giveaway on it. I have a Kindle that is dying to swallow it. Linda

    1. Hi Linda - no giveaway but I highly recommend it!


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