Tim's Reviews > The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
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's review
Sep 08, 12

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction-post-1967
Read from September 01 to 07, 2012

This was a thoroughly engaging story of a young woman who enters adulthood after being brought up in the foster care system. In the character of Victoria, Vanessa Diffenbaugh captures the essence of such a unique, and almost thoroughly institutional, upbringing. At 18, Victoria appears incapable of conceiving of her future, much less making plans to shape it. To an outsider, perhaps even to herself, she appears to have no goals or purpose. It’s an odd effect of her tumultuous childhood and people she encounters are often frustrated by it.

Victoria does, however, have a love of flowers and via this single passion she begins to discover her purpose, her future and her past. The story alternates between Victoria’s present day life and a particularly beautiful and painful year in her childhood. The arc of the two stories of Victoria’s life is skillfully handled by Diffenbaugh. Throughout the book the reader learns the many messages associated with flowers, meanings that were assigned during the Victorian era.

This was a beautifully written novel giving the reader insight to some of the shortcomings of the foster care system and the challenges young women and men aging out of the system face. Definitely worth a read and you'll probably end up recommending the book to others when you're done.
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