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You won't want to miss this book
Victoria knew she could identify flowers and what effect they would have on a person. She could choose flowers and know what emotion they would evoke and what the person receiving the flowers needed.
Virginia B. (Foster, RI)
The Language of Flowers
Victoria had a talent, but she was a foster child moving from one home to the next and had to deal with this ordeal first......then she turned 18 and was turned out of the foster care system and on her own. Where would she go and what would she do now? After sleeping in the woods for some time, hunger and cold made her walk boldly into a flower shop and ask to help the florist. This was the beginning of a great relationship between Victoria and her talent with flowers....it had instinctively been developed in her and was a natural gift.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh....the book was absolutely wonderful and beautifully written. I totally and completely LOVED it.
You could definitely connect with Victoria even though she was a mean, angry foster child until she met her loving foster mother, Elizabeth. It was amazing how Victoria changed into someone who was in tune with feelings and something as delicate as flowers because of Elizabeth. Elizabeth also had a secret, and the mystery thrown in kept you wondering what had happened in the past.
The book became better with each turn of the page. It was exceptional in terms of writing and storyline. I enjoyed how smoothly the book went from Victoria's childhood to the present.
To me this book stood for unconditional love, for hardship, for talent, for disappointment, and for working for what you really want.
I can definitely see why it is being considered the publishing event of 2011......it is indescribably incredible.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is similar to Ellen Foster, Tending to Grace and White Oleander because the main character, Victoria, is an abandoned child with amazing resilience. A foster child from birth, she “doesn’t like to be touched” or to listen to people breathe. She runs into problems again and again with the foster care system and at 18 is released and branded a failure with “ no high school diploma, no motivation, no support network, and a complete lack of social skills.” The plot is anchored in gardening and the old Victorian meaning of various flowers. Ultimately, Victoria’s uncanny ability with plants is her salvation. The element of mystery and the possibility of Victoria finding a home and love make this well written novel a satisfying page-turner.
Julie M. (Bloomington, MN)
The Wonderful World of Flowers
Excellent exploration of a mother's unconditional love for a daughter and a wonderful introduction to the world of flowers and all that they can communicate. This story reinforces the idea that if one person sees the wonderful uniqueness in another person it can change both their lives for the better. I will never look at flowers again without wanting to know their meaning...I cannot wait for Diffenbaugh's next offering!
Judy K. (Sunland, CA)
Flowers, foster care and family
Captivating on every page, The Language of Flowers is raw and romantic at the same time. It is a quick read and extremely hard to put down. I am always intrigued by stories about orphans, adoption and foster care; stories in which people have been failed by the concept of family. I have a long history with flowers. But I never knew that flowers have a romantic language and I have never met a character like Victoria. This is the kind of book you force onto your reader girlfriends, afraid that if they miss reading it their lives will be incomplete.
Nikki M. (Fort Wayne, IN)
Lovely in every way!
It has been some time since I've read such a well-written contemporary novel! The characters were perfectly "fleshed out" --you really care about all of them! You will be hearing wonderful things about this one when it's published in September! Don't miss it!
Mary J. (Scottsdale, AZ)
Vanessa Diffenbaugh delivers a wonderfully well written first novel. Her character Victoria Jones is a strong and complicated and flawed character who tries to find her way out of a lonely past. This novel should be on everyone's must read list. I couldn't put it down and loved the flower background as well.
Marcia S. (Hendersonville, NC)
Meaningful on many levels
Ms. Diffenbaugh has crafted a great read. Her characters live life the best way they can with all of their flaws. This novel introduced the often overlooked Victorian meaning of flowers which I found intriguing. The author's connection with the foster system added insight into experiences of children in the system and forces readers to think of the support needed as children age out of foster care. Other themes in the novel are love, family, trust, despair, and the power of forgiveness. I will recommend "The Language of Flowers" to all of my friends and know I will think of these characters often!
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.