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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
2,5002842,428 (3.99)1 / 155
  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. 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.
  4. 00
    How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr (treadsowell)
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English (279)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (288)
Showing 1-5 of 279 (next | show all)
This was more of a 3.5 star book. It was one of those that was too good when I compare it to other books which merited three stars, but not as good as those which merited four stars. This novel tells the story of Victoria, a foster home “graduate” who finds herself emancipated at age 18, which translates to being alone, homeless and emotionally scarred by her too many to count foster home and group home placements. Mistrusting of nearly everyone, low in self-esteem and unable to love, she finds her only outlet in flowers and the meaning and messages they convey. Victoria is a character that you want to love, but you also want to yell at her and tell her to wake up and take control of her life. She is also a character that I knew I would miss when I finished reading the book. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
This was a re-read for my book club. On first reading, I gave this book three stars, but after reading it for a second time, I raised it to four stars. I found the story more compelling and the characters more complex than I initially perceived them to be. I think that anyone who loves flowers and the potential they have to influence our lives would enjoy this book. This novel examines the potentially devastating effects of foster care, but also illustrates the power of love to create resilience in people who have been badly damaged by that system. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
Enjoyable read about two young people and the problems they face. Flowers bring happiness, commitment, and communication when words could not. ( )
  LisaSB | Aug 4, 2015 |
This was a book of lost souls who craved connection but didn't know how to actualize it. I love the ways the characters grew during the course of the story, yet their attempts at love and trust continued to fail.

This was the story of some very vulnerable people taking one step at a time, and I felt that the author was realistic in her portrayals. I appreciated the vocabulary of the flowers, but enjoyed the characterizations much more. I hesitated reading this book because the title, though apt, seemed overly sweet and romantic. ( )
  njinthesun | Jul 9, 2015 |
Great in the beginning but a little to sappy towards the end. ( )
  rebeccar76 | Jun 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 279 (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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