Eileen Granfors's Reviews > The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
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Jul 02, 11

bookshelves: families, highly-unusual, local-color, new-classic, women, writing-help, coming-of-age
Read from June 29 to July 02, 2011

I'll review after the holiday, but let me say, I now have a new favorite book of 2011. Wonderful, beautiful, painful, truthful journey.

Often on the weekend of July 4th, I post a half-way through the year "top reading" list. I had it ready to go for my blog with my top ten short list so far. Then, I picked up "The Language of Flowers" by debut novelist Vanessa Diffenbaugh. BAM! I loved this book because it surprised me in every way: style, characters, plot points. It's not the overwrought love story with Victorian flora I expected.

It is an action-packed, heart-breaking journey with 18 year-old Victoria recently emancipated foster child in modern San Francisco. She spent her life perfecting the art of being unreachable because then she can feel that the families who give her back do so by her chosen behaviors. She has a wall around her heart, "like a nut." She fears intimate relationships. All her life getting close to someone has meant only moving on, moving away, and giving up those she had begun to feel comfortable with.

On her 18th birthday, she is done with foster care. The system sends her on her way. She is homeless. She is jobless. But she has been taught the language of flowers by one of her caretakers, Elizabeth.

How Victoria takes her love of flowers and her connection with growing things to make her life something new is the journey of this book. She has help along the way from people at the flower market, Renata and her family; Grant, a young man who also questions his past.

Like moss, which thrives with no roots, Annie finds that she can start anew in a different direction for her life than she could have dreamed of attaining.

Diffenbaugh sets the story in San Francisco and the agricultural country to the north of the city. The cityscape and vineyards provide contrasting pieces of Annie's life experiences.

This is a beautiful book. It takes the readers to new places and teaches them new things, things probably not considered before. To me, that makes for a top-notch reading experience. More, more, more please from Vanessa Diffenbaugh.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Rhonda Rae (new) - added it

Rhonda Rae Baker Oh my...I WANT to read this!!!! Can't wait to read your review Eileen...(-;

message 2: by Louise (new) - added it

Louise Jones oh i have been meaning to read this for ages !!!

Eileen Granfors You will love it. It is a sure-fire guaranteed read! e

message 4: by Louise (new) - added it


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