Lee's Reviews > The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
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's review
Nov 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, fiction, 2011-reads
Read from November 10 to 11, 2011

I'm a little conflicted about how to rate and review this one. I was really interested in the subject matter - the Victorian language of flowers. The young protagonist Victoria is a hurt and traumatized young woman after spending most of her life in foster care. After finally being released on her 18th birthday she begins a new life working with a florist and begins to bloom a little herself. The narration flips back and forth between her present life and various childhood episodes which I found quite painful to read.

I don't want to reveal too much about the plot but the closer I got to the end, the more uncomfortable I became with certain actions the character took. I think the author did a good job drawing me into the story and the characters were interesting but I'm not happy with the ending although I think I'm supposed to be.
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Reading Progress

11/10 page 75
02/27 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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Lisa Vegan Well, you've definitely aroused my curiosity. I was already interested in this book. I've recommended it to my book club. If we don't read it, hopefully I will get to it on my own, hopefully in 2012. I've worked with quite a few foster kids. I wish I was in a position to be a foster/adoptive parent.

Lisa Vegan Oh, and thanks for writing a review. ;-)

message 3: by Lee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee Your welcome! There is definitely a lot to talk about for a book club so it's probably a good choice. When I started reading I thought it would be a four or five star book but by the end I felt I wanted to give it less. Part of that was my personal reaction to the protagonist's choices though so I guess the author did a good job in upsetting me. This was not a feel good book or a comfort read.

Lisa Vegan Well, we won't add it to the group's shelves then. Unless, of course, I read it, and find it a comfort read, but I'll bet I won't. Never know though.

message 5: by Lee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee I don't know. As a parent I found many things extremely disturbing and sad. I don't think many people would find this book comforting but I could be wrong. The story is not without hope.

Lisa Vegan Lee wrote: "I don't know. As a parent I found many things extremely disturbing and sad. I don't think many people would find this book comforting but I could be wrong. The story is not without hope."

I've often found reading about highly difficult childhoods to be comforting, in a way, disturbing too. I'm very curious about the end after reading your review.

message 7: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie You certainly aroused my interest in a book that I had not looked at terribly closely.

message 8: by Lee (last edited Nov 13, 2011 08:49AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee Thanks Chrissie. Hmmmm, I'm not sure if you would like this. I think perhaps not. I was really fascinated by the information and history of the language of flowers but just going with my gut on this, I think you might have a similar reaction to the relationship parts and ending that I did.

message 9: by Chrissie (last edited Nov 13, 2011 10:08AM) (new)

Chrissie Lee, I love it when my friends know me so well they can advise which books I should not read. Thank you. I have complete trust in your judgement.

message 10: by Lee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee Your welcome Chrissie! I think there are many more books that would interest you more.

message 11: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Exactly. This has nothing to do with the quality of the book, but merely that it probably would not fit me.

message 12: by Lee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee I agree. I think many people would like this book but you are interested in reading different things at this point in your life. I think this book is for a different reader.

message 13: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Yup!

message 14: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Mclaughlin I enjoyed this book. It was very well written.
We are to discuss the book in our next book discussion

Marla Mutch I just finished this and found it well written but disturbing in many ways too.

message 16: by Fane (new) - added it

Fane Davis I know that i picked up the right book.I can't wait to start reading it.Thanks for the great review tho' :)

message 17: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan but I'm not happy with the ending although I think I'm supposed to be

I understand. Yes. Though we might differ in why we're not happy. I still loved the book though.

Tammi Stanley Your review is spot on. I completely agree with our review. My favorite part was the language of flowers. I was also puzzled at some of the actions of the main character. It doesn't quite explain how she ended up in foster care to begin with, does it? I almost didn't want to like this book because of its notoriety, but I did like it. And I agree about the ending - I think we are supposed to like it but I don't know if I did. I can understand the main character, however, because I know someone just like her.

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