Thursday, July 5, 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.
Initial Thoughts:
This book was on the best sellers list as soon as it came out, so I was intrigued to what made it so special. After reading the blurb, I was so curious about this Victorian language of flowers and how it would play a part in the book.

The Pros:
This book shows you just what happens to kids after they "age out" of the foster care situation. Also, it shows you how difficult it can be to both a foster child and a foster parent.

The Victorian language of flowers is beautiful and so interesting. The book even comes with a flower "dictionary" in the back.

Victoria's story, while heartbreaking, is empowering and inspirational.

Interconnected details that originally present themselves as mundane really build the story into something strong and meaningful.

The many plot twists kept me guessing.

The Cons:
I wasn't a big fan of the ending.

Victoria comes across incredibly selfish in many parts of the book, and at times it turned me off to the book.

The Wrap Up: 4/5
A fantastic read. The story has so much heart and the flashbacks really help you discover why the characters are the way they are. Also, you'll know what your favorite flower says about you by the end of the book.

Favorite Quote:

“It wasn't as if the flowers themselves held within them the ability to bring an abstract definition into physical reality. Instead, it seemed that...expecting change, and the very belief in the possibility instigated a transformation.” 

Want to read this amazing book? Click here!

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