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The Language of Flowers (edition 2011)

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,7463142,136 (3.98)1 / 163
Member:Ephemeralda
Title:The Language of Flowers
Authors:Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Author)
Info:MacMillan (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library, Fiction
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

  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 (310)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (319)
Showing 1-5 of 310 (next | show all)
Just as contrived, just as predictable, and just as compulsively readable as a Victorian novel. I found myself caring about the characters and being drawn into the story. I read it cover to cover in one evening, and I found that despite its predictability, (continued) http://www.theloopylibrarian.com/book-review-language-flowers-vanessa-diffenbaug... ( )
  TheLoopyLibrarian | Apr 4, 2016 |
The idea of using (and reintroducing the language of) flowers to communicate and bring people together was interesting. It made me want to go out and study the secrets behind them myself, it didn't however, make me want to race through this book. I couldn't find a connection with the main character, Victoria, and found myself more interested in ever other minor character. As a whole, it fell flat. ( )
  mashiaraqcs | Mar 29, 2016 |
Just as contrived, just as predictable, and just as compulsively readable as a Victorian novel. I found myself caring about the characters and being drawn into the story. I read it cover to cover in one evening, and I found that despite its predictability, I wanted the happily ever after. Our book club enjoyed it very much and found ourselves in a lively discussion about the failings in the foster care system. Although a bit unrealistic, it was an enjoyable read. Recommended for fans of Victorian literature. ( )
  TheLoopyLibrarian | Mar 27, 2016 |
I bought this book years ago, the beautiful cover drew me in, but for some reason I didn't read it. Last year, I found a companion book that I got because I adore flowers and their victorian meanings enchant me.

I began reading the story a while ago, but I find it sad and disturbing... the beautiful cover is a deception so far, but now that I've read so far, I won't stop until I finish the story and understand what it was all about. ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
I bought this book years ago, the beautiful cover drew me in, but for some reason I didn't read it. Last year, I found a companion book that I got because I adore flowers and their victorian meanings enchant me.

I began reading the story a while ago, but I find it sad and disturbing... the beautiful cover is a deception so far, but now that I've read so far, I won't stop until I finish the story and understand what it was all about. ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 310 (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.

(summary from another edition)

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