Heather's Reviews > The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

really liked it
Read in May, 2012

May 2012 RS book group

I know a lot of reviews say that the protagonist is not believable and that the choices she makes as a daughter/mother/partner are atrocious- and they're right about that last part. But I don't think that it's not believable. Yes, it's hard to think a mother would leave a newborn home alone so she can get some time to herself... except mothers really do that (and worse). As someone who works closely with newly postpartum mothers, the protagonist sounds like she had some severe PPD and PTSD. What she did is very believable for someone who grew up in a system that doesn't foster attachment and interpersonal skills. Yes it's bad, but sadly, it's also real.

Having grown up in the same house as people who were basically fostered and my sister- adopted out of a bad situation as a child, I actually could relate (not directly, but I know people like this). It actually did remind me of my sister's current situation as a single mother with difficultly with attachment, getting an education, a job, paying rent.
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Miri I found her totally believable, and that's one of the things I liked so much about this book. I liked that it showed how awful motherhood can be for some people, how it doesn't just come naturally to everyone, how everything isn't just automatically worth it and you never worry about anything again because you're just instantly in love with your baby. It was such a hard book to read because of that, at times, and I think that's such an important perspective that we hear so little of - which is why people have such a hard time believing it's true - which is obviously why we need to hear more of it.

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