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The Language of Flowers

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,9713812,275 (3.94)1 / 190
"The story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own past"--
  1. 60
    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 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 (372)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (384)
Showing 1-5 of 372 (next | show all)
I should have read this last year for the 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt: a book with made-up language. I chose to read this book for its title without knowing what the story would be about. It's not anything I'd have expected.
The protagonist is not intended to be loved by the readers: she's flawed and she makes a lot of questionable decisions. However, one can compare her story to the Prodigal Son. ( )
  DzejnCrvena | Apr 2, 2021 |
A beautiful book ( )
  MarlaBurr | Mar 14, 2021 |
I love flowers so I did enjoy learning about the *language* of flowers. All in all, the book was well written ;however, it did drag in places. I listened to the book and I had it on 1.75 speed which helped tremendously to get through the draggy places. I do not mind a story going back and forth in time; however, the audio version was not smoothly done. There was no clear cut between the two, so I had to pay VERY close attention.
Victoria grew up in the foster care system. At age 18 she was graduated out of the system with very little money and basically the clothes on her back. Luckily, she befriends a flower shop owner who hires her at first on a daily basis.
We learn that Elizabeth (foster Mom) in Victoria's early life taught her the language of flowers. Victoria thrived in the flower shop because of her early leaning. She meets Grant in the flower market. Victoria and Grant have a history. He is the nephew of Elizabeth. The two forge a friendship and eventually more. Victoria has always had trouble learning to love and accepting love from others. ( )
  travelgal | Mar 1, 2021 |
Beautiful writing and the Language of Flowers makes a good pair. ( )
  Akacya | Feb 28, 2021 |
i was lent this book from my coworker awhile ago & just got around to reading it and oh my word... it was so unexpectedly great! not all the logistics of the foster care / court system were correct honestly (or at least for the county i work in for foster care), but nonetheless it pulls on your heart strings & gives you a glimpse of the trauma that is connected with being in foster care.⠀

oh my word... i wanted to smack Meredith, the social worker. I pray i never talk my kids on my cases like she did. Victoria was my favorite character - she is raw and shows the hard shell she’s had to put on for so many years because of what she’s experienced, but her sensitivity is shown in her love for flowers & she is just clearly longing for belonging. Renata was my second favorite because she really helped Victoria see her true worth & helped her gain self-confidence! there’s a perfect amount of romance thrown into this novel & it makes you want to jump up & root for Victoria to have the life she’s always wanted! the read felt beautifully poetic at times too when they spoke of their love for the flowers & the meanings of them. ( )
  emilybythebookvine | Jan 5, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 372 (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 (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vanessa Diffenbaughprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rovira Ortega, 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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"The story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own past"--

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