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The Language of Flowers (edition 2011)

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,3752712,637 (4.01)1 / 133
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

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The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

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English (266)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (275)
Showing 1-5 of 266 (next | show all)
Although a little uneven in pacing, I really enjoyed this book. I loved learning about the meaning of flowers--it is a charming dimension of this book. And I was truly cheering for the damaged heroine; Victoria has spent her childhood in foster care and she trusts no one. After turning eighteen, her love of flowers and their meanings lands her a job in a florist shop. Victoria soon has loyal clients asking for help in their lives through her gift of flowers, but Victoria can't heal herself until a young man enters her life and she faces a secret from her past. Poignant, engaging, romantic, funny. ( )
  Berly | Nov 22, 2014 |
I adored this book. I loved the clever premise and the painfully flawed protagonist. The writing was wonderfully austere and allowed the flowers in so many places to speak. I spent a lot of time thinking about this book when I was not actually reading it, and I know that it will stay with me for years. It was beautiful and tragic and hopeful. I really did love it. ( )
  Delancey.Stewart | Nov 22, 2014 |
On one level this book is a trashy romantic perspective on the separation of parents from each other and from their children, which is 'worthy' of the "Womens Weekly Good Read" sticker that adorned my library copy. There's not much that's very realistic in this book - it's pretty much all a fantasy of how children from dysfunctional and broken relationships can make good if they're only given a chance by someone who accepts them without question. Clearly the world isn't as simple and people aren't as good as they are in this story. On the other hand, Vanessa Diffenbaugh is obviously a person who passionately believes in her cause and a lot of that emotion and passion is palpable in the book. If you're prepared to uncritically accept the unbelievable scenarios offered up, then there is an essential truth to be found about self worth and relationships. ( )
2 vote oldblack | Oct 16, 2014 |
Just finished reading this book and all I can say is wow! Passed it on to my mother who will hopefully feel the same. I could not put it down, as it is a page-turner for sure! I would love to see this turned into a movie just to see how it would turn out. I plan on making a box with flower definitions and photos, just like the ones Victoria made and memorizing the language of flowers. ( )
  tielwingsmama | Sep 29, 2014 |
Just finished reading this book and all I can say is wow! Passed it on to my mother who will hopefully feel the same. I could not put it down, as it is a page-turner for sure! I would love to see this turned into a movie just to see how it would turn out. I plan on making a box with flower definitions and photos, just like the ones Victoria made and memorizing the language of flowers. ( )
  tielwingsmama | Sep 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 266 (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.

(summary from another edition)

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