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Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
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Language of Flowers (edition 2011)

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

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2,9223281,970 (3.98)1 / 167
Member:BaileysAndBooks
Title:Language of Flowers
Authors:Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Info:MacMillan (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library, Currently reading
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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 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.
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English (321)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  English (331)
Showing 1-5 of 321 (next | show all)
This brilliant book follows a foster child who's unable to get close to anyone due to her experiences in the foster care system. There was one exception to this and Victoria, in the end did everything she could to destroy it. Aging out of the system she's given a place to stay for a month during which time she needs to get a job or be put on the street. She winds up on the street before meeting a florist who gives her a job and a chance. The question is can Victoria succeed when she considers herself so unworthy and unforgivably flawed? This book kept me reading past my bedtime as I needed to know what was going to happen next! ( )
  lisa.schureman | Dec 1, 2016 |
I became involved in this story in spite of myself. It has an interesting concept but a very unlikeable protagonist (which I don't hate, but for some reason...) and a plot that made me roll my eyes too often. There was not enough inner voice for Victoria to become real for me. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
Adored this book!! Some of it felt far fetched, but the main character was so compelling i just couldnt stop reading!!! ( )
  pickleroad | Nov 10, 2016 |
I almost didn't read this book because I thought it would be full of sappy romance and fabricated nostalgia for Victorian conventions. But when several people whose opinions I respect told me how much they liked it, I realized I had judged the book by its cover. In fact, the story's relationships are not at all trite, but complicated, thoughtful and interesting. I was instantly drawn to the atypical narrator and her honesty about her own flaws. Though her journey of transformation is a bit neatly tied up at the end, and though the patience of her supporting characters is at times unbelievable, the overall message of hope in humanity is a strong and valuable one. Plus, it is a very enjoyable and quick read, making it easy to overlook a few minor shortcomings. ( )
  trwm | Oct 6, 2016 |
Victoria has been betrayed over and over again during the years that she grew up in the foster care system. The only thing that ever interested her is flowers and their hidden meanings. When she is 18 and finally free from the system she feels more at home with her flowers than with people, but she must learn to live in the world of people in order to survive. As Victoria gradually finds her way, she begins to form some tentative bonds with others. But when her new life intersects with her past, she finds herself having to go on a painful journey.
Learning more about the hidden meanings of flowers adds a fun extra to this book, but it is the emotional journey that Victoria undergoes that kept me reading. I wanted to see how she would survive when she was so closed off from others, and if she would ever find love and happiness. This exploration of a young woman thrown out on her own after aging out of the foster care system also lent itself well to discussion. ( )
  debs4jc | Sep 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 321 (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 editionscalculated
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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Discovering the symbolic meanings of flowers while languishing in the foster-care system, eighteen-year-old Victoria is hired by a florist when her talent for helping others is discovered, a situation that leads her to confront a painful secret from her past.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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