Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa…

The Language of Flowers: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,7963182,089 (3.98)1 / 164
Title:The Language of Flowers: A Novel
Authors:Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Info:Ballantine Books (2012), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

  1. 50
    The Language of Flowers: a Miscellany by Mandy Kirkby (guurtjesboekenkast)
  2. 20
    Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline (tangledthread)
    tangledthread: Similar story of a young woman aging out of the foster care system.
  3. 10
    The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (KatyBee)
    KatyBee: Excellent writing, main female character has a very unique 'gift'.
  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.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (313)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (322)
Showing 1-5 of 313 (next | show all)
Read as a book club selection. Love the flower meaning dictionary at the end of the book. I wasn't sure about the story but I ended up liking it very much. Mis-labeled, in my opinion, by my local library as Romance. Since I never read that genre , I would not have picked this book if it had not been for the book club.
Flowers, foster parenting, group homes ; lots to discuss. ( )
  librarian1204 | Jun 6, 2016 |
Enjoyable enough, but not sure it will stick with me. I liked it a little more after discussing it with my book club. 3.5 stars. ( )
1 vote klburnside | Jun 4, 2016 |
I blew through this book in 2 days. Sometimes that is a bad thing, I may not remember this plot for too much longer. It was an easy read, simple plot, and yet, sometimes I would rather prefer to be challenged: Which is why I don't often read books from this genre.
I went into this novel expecting this to be a short fun happy thrill, and a brain palette cleanse from my normal heavy duty reading. It was simply perfect for that.
Flower descriptions are beautiful, which makes this perfect to read in the Spring time, when everything is coming alive around you. I want to surround myself in flowers that have meaning and research the language of flowers!

I see in the comments everyone seems to have a problem with Victoria. They find her cold, distant, nasty, sulky. Yes, she is all those things. But she still deserves a chance at love, she deserves to learn how to love, she has never truly felt it before, so it is all new to her. I was very happy she received a happily ever after in an ugly world where people don't have the patience, and don't normally give broken people chances. ( )
  XoVictoryXo | May 31, 2016 |
Flowers can mean many thing to different people but sometimes they may be the only way for someone to communicate. This, we quickly discover, is the only way 18 year old, homeless, Victoria is comfortable communicating.

We meet Victoria as she is being given what her foster sponsor says is her “last chance” (which we soon learn isn’t the first time she has said that). Victoria has recently turned 18 and as a result of the foster care system is headed to a halfway home where she is given 4 weeks free rent, after that she is on her own. Victoria, in her quiet quirky ways, wastes those days away stealing flowers from neighbors gardens and planting them in milk containers (the only food she has bought) and finds herself homeless, with just a small garden she has made for herself in one of San Francisco’s public parks.

The book jumps back from Victoria’s current story to her past and her most impactful foster home with Elizabeth. As past and present reveal themselves to us, we start to learn why she has an affinity for flowers and why they mean so much to her now. This makes it a captivating read as you are always waiting to see what went wrong and how she ended up where she is.

There is a lot of lack of emotion in the characters in this book, there are times that I just don’t think Victoria feels anything. Victoria is a tough character to get behind for this reason in particular. When things go wrong for her it is tough to feel emotionally connected to them, because sometimes it feels as though she isn’t. I think this is the way she is meant to be portrayed, just lots of downs throughout her life and she still just survives and keeps going.

The story of her past and the development of her current life get very interesting when they intersect again, and it adds one more wrinkle that keeps you reading. The meaning of the different flowers was a lovely topping on this story, it truly interested me and helped create cohesiveness throughout. The Language of Flowers really is a story of something coming out of nothing. Finding love and emotion when previously none existed. Diffenbaugh accomplishes this in a page turning, flower loving fashion. ( )
  afyfe | May 12, 2016 |
This book was lent to me by a friend, and was given to her by a friend as a gift. My friend hadn’t read it yet, and let me as she was busy with something else. I know why her friend gave it to her, it is very fitting.

So, the story, I LOVED IT! In fact, lastnight I read more than I intended to as I needed to sleep early, but I couldn’t put it down. The characters are gave me such an emotional bond, at times I smiled, at others I wanted to yell at the characters! Or cry with them or laugh with them. I really am glad that I read this book, I was not dissapointed. Thanks friend for sharing with me, I am sure you will love it too.
( )
  gma2lana | May 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 313 (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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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
For PK
First words
For eight years I dreamed of fire.
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


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.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
5 avail.
532 wanted
5 pay8 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.98)
0.5 3
1 5
1.5 3
2 38
2.5 16
3 174
3.5 93
4 406
4.5 77
5 293


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 106,827,147 books! | Top bar: Always visible