The Language of Flowers
by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 23rd, 2011
by Ballantine Books
Rating: 5 Stars
The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it has been more useful in communicating feelings like 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, Victoria has nowhere to go, and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. When her talent is discovered by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But it takes meeting a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realise what’s been missing in her own life, and as she starts to fall for him, she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, and decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness. “The Language of Flowers” is a heartbreaking and redemptive novel about the meaning of flowers, the meaning of family, and the meaning of love
I usually read to help me drift off to sleep at night. Most nights I will read read a page or two before fatigue takes over and I slip off to dream land. Last night was different; last night I read The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I started the book earlier in the day, reading a chapter here and there throughout the day, but not making much progress amid the craziness that is the life of a mom of five. When I headed off to bed, intending to follow my regular ritual of reading a page or two before drifting off, I had no idea that I would lose a night of sleep and not regret it.
The Language of Flowers is a book that will both break your heart and fill you with hope. Victoria’s circumstances often feel devoid of hope, and yet she over comes her struggles one at a time. We watch her make terrible mistakes, yet learn and grow from them. We see her grow from an angry girl into a woman trying to help others understand their emotions and communicate their hopes and dreams for the future through the Victorian language of flower.
If you chose just one book to read the remainder of this year, may I suggest that you chose The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh? I have not been so moved by a book since I read the much acclaimed The Help.
Content: Some swearing, mild sexual content.