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The Language of Flowers

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,2943952,313 (3.94)1 / 193
"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 (385)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (396)
Showing 1-5 of 384 (next | show all)
Not a bookclub book but read when we lived in Pilar nm. Very good book about smells and memories ( )
  PatLibrary123 | Aug 9, 2022 |
“Perhaps the unattached, the unwanted, the unloved, could grow to give love as lushly as anyone else.”
― Vanessa Diffenbaugh, The Language of Flowers

Everyone has their own way of coping with tragedy. Everyone has their interests and passions that can take them away from darkness and into the light. For some it’s music, for some it’s art, for others it’s reading and for Victoria, in The language of flowers, it’s flower arranging.

This work of historical fiction was a book club selection and that is how I came to read it. It is without a doubt a must read for historical fiction readers as well as people who as with Victoria may seek joy in flowers by arranging them , smelling then, or just looking at them. This is the story of a girl who matures into a woman while dealing with some of the darkest times a human being can deal with and triumphing with a little help from her flowers.

At the end of the book there are definitions for just about every flower and plant out there and what they mean. This is a joyous and unforgettable read that I recommend to everyone. ( )
  Thebeautifulsea | Aug 4, 2022 |
Amazing, fantastic, I want more!
I cannot walk around any longer without thinking of what flowers are telling me, looking for happines flowers, for positive meaning.
A lot of understanding for the most complicated situation in life is into this book: acceptance and hope are the leitmotives, since we cannot forget there is always HAZEL (look yourself for the meaning of this)
( )
  Lillymao | Aug 4, 2022 |
Meh. A heroine with a terrible past who makes a silly decision. Just struggled to finish for a book club. ( )
  froxgirl | Jul 26, 2022 |
All events in this book related to a flower. I learned a lot and the story was interesting. Not a top shelf though. ( )
  wincheryl | Jun 20, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 384 (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 (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vanessa Diffenbaughprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rovira Ortega, GemmaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sands, TaraReadersecondary 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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