Linda's Reviews > The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Dec 04, 2013

it was amazing
bookshelves: early-first-reads
Read from June 11 to 22, 2011

"The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
I loved this book from the beginning and didn’t want it to end. I have always had a fascination with knowing the names history of flowers and plants and love finding them in natural surroundings. This book, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, (whose name is similar to the dieffenbachia plant) had such a moving story line in telling the story of Victoria, from her abandonment at birth, through childhood abuse, to her orphanage experiences and her difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships. Victoria’s life is portrayed with a depth of a feeling that pulls the reader into caring about this strange and sometimes difficult young woman. The story moves back and forth in time and place within the span of her life which brings greater meaning to why she behaves the way she does with people she meets.

Victoria reminds me of several young people I have met and worked with over the years. They may be prickly but also may produce the most beautiful lives, just as some thorny plants produce soft and beautiful flowers. It is a story that can lift you up with expectation and hope, and than then bring you down and make you sad. It is a roller coaster ride of resiliency and success combined with sadness and disappointment.

The idea of pouring over dusty and seldom read book after book in the personal pursuit of creating your own book of flowers and their meanings struck a cord with me. What a quiet and resolved drive and passion Victoria kept mentally reconnecting to her childhood to find understanding and meaning in her own life. There was a personal relationship with the flowers Victoria worked with and it was evident with all those who became involved in her world.
“The flower you’re looking for is clearly the common thistle, which symbolizes misanthropy. Misanthropy means hatred or mistrust of humankind.”
“Does humankind mean everybody?”
“I thought about this. Misanthropy. No one had ever described my feelings in single word.”

I received this as an early reviewer copy and appreciate the opportunity to have read this book. It is hard to believe that this was a debut novel and Vanessa’s own experiences as a foster mother and teacher shine through in this novel. For me this was an outstanding selection and I will be recommending this book as a book club read. I rate it as a full 5 star book.
75 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Language of Flowers.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

06/21/2011 page 228
03/24/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Susan Did you win this one? I'm going to get to it soon -- it looks good. I'm interested in what you have to say about it.

Linda It is advanced reader copy. I will read it this week. Do you want it?

Susan No thanks -- I have a copy already. Happy, happy.

Linda Perfect! Have you read it?

Susan No, not yet. There are some others ahead of it in line but I want to read it before the end of the month.

Linda I will read it as soon as I finish a couple of those I am reading currently.

Linda I am loving this book. I think it would be a good book club read.

message 8: by Fane (new) - added it

Fane Davis Thanks for the review...hoping that i'll like and eventually fall in love with this book as much as you guys did.Bought this novel couple months ago,but haven't read any yet.So tonight,i'm gonna start working on it.:)

Linda I hope you enjoy it, if you do there are several other new books such as, "Playing with Matches", "Blood Bones & Butter" and "The Glass Castle" that you might find interesting. Enjoy the book.

Susan I love this book. I think it is going to be my suggestion for next year's reading list for my book group.

back to top