Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Review: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Title: The language of Flowers
Author: Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Subject: Foster care, flowers, family
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release date: August, 2011
Length: 336 pages
I got this book: Borrowed it from the library

Dutch cover, because it is beautiful!
From Goodreads:
"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."

Personal opinion:
Okay, I am just going to throw it out there: I loved this book! It kept me reading and I couldn't lay it down. In alternate chapters we learn about Victoria's present situation and also about her past. While Victoria isn't very likeable as a person, I could identify with her straight away. This is not because we have a similar story, but I could see where she was coming from. To me her choices made sense because of what she has been through. I too have a "broken" personality and I can't live by the rules of society either and I also have to create my own path in life. I guess that is what made the connection. To me this book gave me hope because even if you aren't very likeable and have a personality with a manual, it is still possible to find your place in life. With help from people who care about you and accept you for who you are. I do think that some of the events that happened are a bit too convenient, however this book does show the struggles, the ugly side of relationships and motherly love. It was refreshing to read about how Victoria dealt with the effects of all consuming motherhood and that it isn't all roses and butterflies. This might have been the best book I have read in 2011 and I am looking to buy it for my own collection of books.

Loved it!

Purchase links: Amazon
Other reviews: None yet.
If you have reviewed this book and want your link here, please leave a comment with the link, and I will add it :)


  1. I've wanted to read this book for a while and now I want to read it more! I love the cover of your version too :)

  2. I never new about flower dictionaries. I am not a gardner nor a naturalist nonetheless I am totally intrigued by the language of flowers. Being a critical reader and always looking for symbolism drew mw into this story. The foster care system is a character unto itself throughout this book. The characters are vividly presented and the floweres add to the story in a tremendous way. I loved this book! I recommend it for your reading plaesure and for book clubs. It will lead to a great discussion about several of the themes.