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The Language of Flowers by Vanessa…
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The Language of Flowers

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,6763092,217 (3.99)1 / 161
  1. 40
    The Language of Flowers: a Miscellany by Mandy Kirkby (guurtjesboekenkast)
  2. 10
    The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (KatyBee)
    KatyBee: Excellent writing, main female character has a very unique 'gift'.
  3. 10
    Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (tangledthread)
    tangledthread: Similar story of a young woman aging out of the foster care system.
  4. 00
    How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr (treadsowell)
  5. 00
    Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses: A Memoir by Paula McLain (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Like Family is a memoir that traces the difficulties of being a foster child in California. Like The Language of Flowers, it provides readers with a moving account of young girls who triumph over adversity to find happiness as adults.
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English (303)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (312)
Showing 1-5 of 303 (next | show all)
1.57
  johnrid11 | Feb 12, 2016 |
1.57
  johnrid11 | Feb 12, 2016 |
Loved, even though the diction was stuffy at times and I felt physically sick to my stomach during the entire breastfeeding episode. This is a unique, painful, beautiful book.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
Stay up late to read it kind of book. Thought provoking. ( )
  lkarr | Feb 6, 2016 |
This was an excellent book that deserves the praise it has received but I ask that it not be the *only* book you read about the foster care system. (I recommend [b:Another Place at the Table|992700|Another Place at the Table|Kathy Harrison|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1309201553s/992700.jpg|978195]) Because good as this novel is, it has--probably out of necessity--been cleaned up a good bit. Most kids who age out of the foster care system do not have a fairly specialized skill as Victoria does that they can get paid to do and many I suspect don't fall in with a small community of people with resources ready, willing and able to help her as she tries to get her footing. Victoria was actually more believable than the circumstances she found herself in. But really, it is a great book, just don't read and think And Now I Know Everything About Life After Foster Care. ( )
  CydMelcher | Feb 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 303 (next | show all)
At first blush it sounds like something Dickens might have come up with, had Dickens been deeply interested in flower arranging.
 
In this absorbing and delicately wrought debut novel, Diffenbaugh heeds the creative-writing maxim: Write what you know. She has been a foster mother and has taught art and writing in low-income communities.This experience is discernible in The Language of Flowers. The idea that an angry young girl such as Victoria would actually be interested in flowers and their meanings seems implausible on one level, and yet Diffenbaugh uses to good effect the belief that evergreen hope lies nascent within most damaged kids.
 
In the end, she offers a cautionary tale about what happens to kids who've grown without families, one that strives to be honest but still hopeful. Children like Victoria may be able to survive on their own, but in order to do better than that - to thrive - they need support. But it's never too late to learn how to love.
added by Nickelini | editSF Gate, Malena Watrous (Aug 21, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vanessa Diffenbaughprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rovira, GemmaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Moss is selected to be the emblem of maternal love, because, like that love, it glads the heart when the winter of adversity overtakes us, and when summer friends have deserted us. 
   — Henrietta Dumont, The Floral Offering
Dedication
For PK
First words
For eight years I dreamed of fire.
Quotations
You can't poison me or give me medicine I don't want. Or hit me — even if I deserve it.
Now, as an adult, my hopes for the future were simple: I wanted to be alone, and to be surrounded by flowers.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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.
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When Victoria Jones starts working for a florist, she realizes her talent with flowers helps her change the lives of the people who buy her creations. But when she must confront her painful past, she has to decide how much she is willing to change.

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