October 18, 2011

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Summary: A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating 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 and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what’s been missing in her life, and when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness. 

I loved The Language of Flowers from beginning to end and I finished it in one lazy, rainy day. This book has been a highly hyped book in the newspapers and magazines and after reading it, I fully endorse the hype. It is a beautiful book with an amazing storyline and fantastic characters. Victoria is an incredibly damaged woman who has experienced the constant turmoil of the foster care system. The characters surrounding the story of Victoria are perfect and amazing additions to the story. I truly cannot say enough about the characters and how much I loved them as I followed their delicately linked lives.

The symbolism and themes of the novel were captivating and the writing so enchanting. From this point on, I will always think more of the message of the flowers that I receive and give, and I love that. I never realized how much a bouquet of flowers can really say. Through the various meanings of flowers, this book delves into life and all of its secrets. I highly doubt that my review and use of cliche phrases can begin to do justice to this novel so I will just stop here. The Language of Flowers is beautiful and highly recommended! 
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