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
2,5772902,324 (3.99)1 / 160
Title:The Language of Flowers: A Novel
Authors:Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Info:Ballantine Books (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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. 00
    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.

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

English (285)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (294)
Showing 1-5 of 285 (next | show all)
This was a very interesting read. Vanessa Diffenbaugh really made you feel for Victoria, an emancipated foster kid. She tells her story of the present as an eighteen year old learning to live life and discover how to love and be loved and of the past as a nine year old girl that has her last chance ripped away from her.

A perfect song for the soundtrack of this book would be Katy Perry's Love Me, because it is a perfect match of the movement of the book and the feelings that it comes with. ( )
  LacyLK | Nov 21, 2015 |
First of all, UK cover rocks! It's so apt as well which you would know if you read the story.

I fell in love with this book because of its topic, - flowers. Blame my ex-florist hubby for that. I'm absolutely obsessed with flowers.

The Language of Flowers is all you want it to be and more - beautiful, harsh, emotionally intense and sad.

Victoria has lived all her life in foster houses, been labeled antisocial and unadoptable, impossible to school. Now she is 18 and the state system won't look after her anymore. Instead of finding a job and trying to embrace the life of ordinary people, she hides in the park tending to her flowers and living a homeless precarious life until she sees a florist and asks if she could work for her...

The plot is divided between the past which shows Victoria's childhood and specifically a year of living with Elizabeth who owned a vineyard in the country and originally taught Victoria the language of flowers, and the present where she struggles to survive and cope with her changing feelings for people and herself.

Victoria's deep understanding of flowers allows her to help people with their problems and make them happier. Slowly she finds her circle of friends and starts seeing a young flower vendor Grant, but her insecurities and damaged past run deep. Her life changes are too fast, too dramatic. Will they make her or break her?

I'm saying no more to avoid the spoilers, but the story itself really rings true. It shows that emotional wounds don't heal overnight, and that it takes a tremendous effort to change and allow yourself to be happy.

I don't see this book is YA, it has a very adult feel and reminds me of Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris which I absolutely adore. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
I seriously loved the writing in this novel, I wanted to love the characters (and I made valiant attempts to convince myself that I could and should) but I wish the characters had done more to make me care about them. I felt that Victoria's self hate got a little wearisome and that the explanation of her crime took a bit longer than necessary. Nevertheless thought I lost myself in the language of flowers. I loved Grant, Elizabeth too. Such a good framework but I left just wanting a little bit more. ( )
  Jackie_Sassa | Nov 20, 2015 |
I enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure I would be able to enjoy The Language of Flowers but I did. I have the physical book to read for the book club and I also downloaded the audio version from Overdrive. I listened to the book while I followed along in the book.

This is the story about Victoria Jones whose life is one that starts out troubled and how it changes when she meets Elizabeth and learns about flowers and what they truly mean. I loved the different meanings behind the names of flowers. ( )
  crazy4reading | Nov 14, 2015 |
This book is a recent find, picked up from a supermarket bookshelf in Moab, Utah, during a tour of South-Western USA in 2012. I didn’t realise when I bought it that the story is set in San Francisco and the countryside north of the Golden Gate Bridge, somewhere we would visit later in the same holiday. It’s about a damaged young girl Victoria who leaves the foster-care system with minimal social skills but a deep understanding of flowers and their meanings. Hydrangea, to Victoria, means dispassion. She struggles with intimacy until she meets a man who tells her that Jonquil means desire. Thoughtful, gently-paced but with emotional power.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Nov 12, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 285 (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: (3.99)
0.5 3
1 5
1.5 2
2 34
2.5 16
3 155
3.5 87
4 375
4.5 76
5 272


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 | 100,948,075 books! | Top bar: Always visible