Jennifer's Reviews > The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
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's review
Jul 29, 2011

it was amazing
Recommended for: everyone!!!


The Language of Flowers is gritty and meaningful; it will take you deep and bring you into dark places. This debut novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is going to be top of the charts within a week. Her writing is both risky and extremely exciting; she is the type of writer you watch out for. If I could scream from the rooftops about this book I would. Sometimes when you read a book you just know this is it, this is the book that will touch your heart in an extraordinary way.
Being compared to Chocolat to me is an insult to this book as it carries far more weight, the story holds so much reality and it is in no way fantastical. Chocolat is one of my favourite books and movies and will always carry a special place in my heart, but the only comparison is the way in which the flowers express what Victoria (the main character in the book) can’t herself express, just like Vianne uses chocolates to express herself.
The Language of Flowers tells the story of Victoria, a girl who has never known the security of a real family or home. Switching between Victoria as a child and as an adult we are told the story of her haunted past and how she came to love and know flowers, while also learning of how she has grown as an adult and what her future holds.
Up until the age of 9 this little girl was passed around from foster parents to group homes never quite being enough for any of them to want to hold on to. This is of course until she is brought to Elizabeth, a single woman who lives on a flower farm and wants nothing more than a daughter of her own. Victoria of course pushes the limits every chance she gets expecting Meredith her social worker to be called to take her away. But in time she learns to trust Elizabeth, and with that begins to share her passion for flowers. Victoria spends hours in the fields with Elizabeth learning about the different types of flowers and the meaning of each.
But now Victoria is 18 sleeping in a park alone where she has created her own garden hidden behind the trees. Elizabeth is nowhere to be found. Homeless and afraid she manages to get a job with Renata a flower shop owner who quickly learns Victoria understands flowers better than she does herself. Renata never pushes her or asks questions, she only helps without intrusion. She somehow understands this closed off hard girl just needs someone to be there, to be silent. But just as Victoria starts to get her life together someone from her past comes back and she finds herself imprisoned by the lies that were told back then.
Vanessa Diffenbaugh should be congratulated for telling such a wonderful heartbreaking story. I know that when this book comes out that the words will speak for themselves and she will get the recognition she deserves. It is incredibly well written, nothing has been compromised and so much has been put into this novel. In addition to the story she also leaves us with something very special at the end. I urge you not to look until you have read the whole story as it only adds to how you will feel about this book.
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
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Reading Progress

July 14, 2011 – Started Reading
July 22, 2011 – Finished Reading
July 29, 2011 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Wendy Great review-I totally agree!

message 2: by Fane (new) - added it

Fane Davis Thanks for the great review...i can't wait to feel such experience that you have experienced through your reading with this novel.I hope i'll like and eventually fall in love with this novel as much as you did.Happy,happy.:)

Jennifer Thank you!! I hope you have gone on to read it and loved it as much as I did!

message 4: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen Gilbert Hey Jennifer, if you loved The Language of Flowers, you should check out A Medical Affair by Anne McCarthy Strauss. It is research based but fun reading as well.

message 5: by Angelisa (new)

Angelisa Stone Oh my God… I love love loved this story too!! Victoria and Grant = PERFECT! You should also read ALWAYS THERE by Albright-Eastman

message 6: by M.A. (new)

M.A. Thanks to other commenters on their book suggestions and special Thank you to you Jennifer. I so agree with you - Found this book on an exchange shelf a the AAUW branch by chance. Love fiction like this that combines the natural world. Had to read reviews after reading it as I'm not in a book group right now.

Surprised at so many 2 and 3 star reviews. I admit though made myself after a couple attempts to get through the first 2 chapters. The anger and anguish... but Vanessa puts dept to it and makes it all so real. I don't believer flowers have bad meanings or even many specific meanings but it was fun to learn a little botany here. So touching at the end .... a bit of real life with context... Out all the reviews Jennifer I liked yours best. I am signing on to follow you J

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