The Language of Flowers

Friday, March 8, 2013

I promise that there are books I read that I don't write about, and some I don't like enough even to finish. I just happen to have read three recently that I've loved. First there was this, and then this, and I've just finished The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

Because of the subject matter, it's not an easy book to read, and the main character, Victoria Jones, is not always easy to like. The book begins on her 18th birthday, when she becomes "emancipated" from the foster-care system. She is completely alone (and thinks she likes it that way), with little hope of finding a way to support herself. She has one thing working in her favor, though, and that's her gift with flowers. She once had a foster mother who loved her and wanted to adopt her, and this woman, Elizabeth, taught her what each flower stands for - for example, Lavender, mistrust; Magnolia, dignity; Myrtle, love.

Victoria does find a job and, with it, a purpose, but the past haunts her. She makes terrible choices, and you want to shake her even as you root for her. At the center of it all is the long-ago relationship between Victoria and Elizabeth, which unfolds over the course of the book. Their connection is poignant and heartbreaking, like the few other relationships Victoria tentatively forms. There are ups and downs until the very end, but it's so worth reading to get there.


  1. Loved this book! A great read and I now think about flowers in a entirely new light. I was actually getting rid of some books and came across a copy of the language of flowers. The book that has the definitions. I wish I had been looking through it as I read.


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