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The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa…
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The Language of Flowers: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

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2,4092752,579 (4.01)1 / 141
Member:schmidpe
Title:The Language of Flowers: A Novel
Authors:Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Info:Ballantine Books (2012), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

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English (270)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (279)
Showing 1-5 of 270 (next | show all)
I was very intrigued by the "back cover summary" and diving into this book was easy. Following Victoria through the foster homes and into independency was good story telling that kept me turning pages. Even the cat-and-mouse initial meetings with Grant was cute -- I'm glad a flower "Dictionary" was provided. I didn't always agree with Victoria's choices and sometimes thought another action or result should have happened. That may be an ideal feedback for the author -- a reader takes what you give and owns it to the point of wishing better things or more happiness.

I recommend this book to anyone with a fondness for literature/novel genres. The focus on plant/flower meanings was very interesting and made for a unique approach in storytelling. This would make a good discussion book for a book club. ( )
  olongbourn | Mar 1, 2015 |
I couldnt decide if I wanted to read this or not. Im glad I did because it was really good, I couldnt put it down! ( )
  ashlou6225 | Feb 5, 2015 |
Well paced and interesting. ( )
  Kelley.Logan | Jan 16, 2015 |
Have you ever given any thought to what a bouquet of flowers really says?

Victoria Jones grew up in foster care, now 18 and independent, after years of disappointment and pain she refuses to let anyone close to her. The only real communication she knows and understands is flowers, each blossom speaks volumes and she relies on the colorful objects to convey her thoughts and feelings—needless to say it is a solitary life. That is until she has an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger who seems to speak the same language. He eases her into opening up and confronting her painful past but will it help or hinder her?

Overall interesting read, I was riveted by the story but did read it with a bit of skepticism. Unfortunately the story had me until ¾ of the way through and then it lost me. I know not every story has to come together for a happy, perfect, fairytale ending but I think it did an abrupt about face. It is supposed to be a story of rough beginnings, hoping for one break—one chance—to turn one’s life around. I enjoyed the flower aspect but fell short of connecting with the characters. Great writing, great concept but it fell a bit short for me however I am glad I read it. ( )
  Shuffy2 | Jan 11, 2015 |
This story made me realize not everyone is loved and kids in foster homes don't always have a happy ending. The main character Victoria isn't easy to explain without spoiling the story. Her life represents her character. Which at times I became irritated because common sense should over come ignorance. This story brings flowers to life and easily made me want to learn more! ( )
  Ahopkinsbibliomaniac | Jan 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 270 (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)
 
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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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