Tucker's Mom (Pasadena, CA)
What flower signifies dysfunction?
The storyteller is the product of a failed foster-care system who uses her gifts with flowers to communicate and succeed in life. I think the most interesting facet of this novel was the floral education, trips to the flower mart, wedding planning interviews with bridezillas. But I really didn't like Victoria. She strikes out at life and people and can't ever seem to allow herself to open to others to receive help or love. Her pattern of chronic self-destruction grows tiresome and the isolation situation which lead to her medical crisis was just painful. It was a bit difficult to get into the book, but read fast after that. I wouldn't want to see the movie.
Julie H. (Pine Grove, PA)
In this finely written story Vanessa Diffenbaugh did an excellent job in creating characters that I cared about. As the book went on I became very drawn into Victoria's story. The lovely concept of using a silent 'language of flowers' to communicate emotions was a novel approach and fit well with the story line. Because Victoria's history was so well written, it fit perfectly that she would use this language to express herself. Although I found most of the emotionally written story believable, I did struggle with Victoria's actions after the birth. However, the insight into the foster care system and the overall message of the book overcame that one setback for me. I would recommend this book to friends.
Judith M. (San Diego, CA)
The Language of Flowers
The Language of Flowers is a perfect summer read! The foster home part of the story is told with a heartbreakingly authentic voice. Some of the later events in Victoria's life are a bit of a stretch to believe. However, I couldn't put it down, and I just had to know what happened in the past, and what the future will hold for this complex character.
Debra F. (Alton Bay, NH)
Flowers in Bloom!
I can't say enough in praise of this debut novel about the facets of relationships between mothers and daughters, friends and lovers. The story is filled with heartache, heartbreak, small miracles, and love, and it's all pulled together with the meanings and messages of the Victorian flower language. A perfect page-turner of a summer read!
Barbara B. (Alta Loma, CA)
Bird of Paradise
This first novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a Bird of Paradise, magnificent. to me, it is about a young woman's search for love and acceptance, but she has an extremely difficult time realizing that she is worthy and capable, after being raised in the foster care system. She is rebellious when ever she comes near to feeling love and acceptance. Only through the language of the flowers she so dearly loves, is she able to feel love, belonging and acceptance.
I have already told friends that this is a must read.
Cheryl W. (Faribault, Mn)
This book is the story of a foster child trying to find her way in the world. Her life is based on the Language of Flowers, her way of communication. Fortunately most people around her understand this language, other she teaches them as her business grows. She is fearful and has trust issues. Running away is her way of coping. She finally faces her fears and failures. I'd look forward to second book.....
Barbara S. (Glen Ellyn, Illinois)
The Language of Flowers
I would like to personally hand a Red Rose to Vanessa Diffenbaugh for her first novel, The Language of Flowers. I loved it! She has managed to weave together her knowledge of the meaning of flowers (including a Dictionary of Flowers created by the main character in the book) with an in depth look at the foster care system, weddings, marriage, heartbreak and mending fences. I hope it won’t take too long for Vanessa Diffenbaugh to produce her second novel; I’m looking forward to another great read!