Victoria was one of those kids who fell through the cracks of the foster care system. Placed time and again in homes that did not fit for her, or were flat-out… abusive. The Foster Care program felt it was Victoria, she was labeled as difficult and uncooperative… and so Victoria continued moving home to home until at 18 years of age she outgrew the foster care age –
and then was on her own.
One home however, haunts her dreams in a painful loss sort of way and if filled with the “what if’s” of life. When Victoria was placed with Elizabeth a woman who grew up surrounded by flowers and their meanings , Victoria soon learned the secret language as well…. aster meaning patience, honeysuckle for devotion, plum meaning keep your promises….
But a poor decision leads to an unthinkable tragedy and Victoria once again shuts down, holding within her secrets and not trusting anyone with her heart. She finds herself in a world of flowers and in almost an unreal way she flourishes, knowing exactly what those looking for the right bouquet want and need… and while this keeps her busy and is fulfilling…
she still longs for what she came so close to having if not for her secret, and Victoria is about to learn that your past has a way of finding you… and that isn’t always a bad thing…
My book club the Bookies chose this book for our November read. On synopsis alone, I wasn’t sure about this one… I had some sort of 70’s flower child image in my head, however the girl who recommended this one is usually spot on with her book suggestions and she had already read it and said it was wonderful.
The Language Of Flowers, as it turns out is wonderful and an incredible discussion book for reading groups. The beauty we found within the pages of Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s story line here was well worth discussing. While Victoria is not always likeable, that makes the story even deeper. She is flawed. She will annoy the crap out of you (and did). AND her decisions do not always fall back on her child hood and the “oh look what she has been through though!” My response to that is, “yeah well, we have all been through stuff.”
Victoria is three-dimensional, while you can not put her on a pedestal, you also can not fully dismiss her. She makes you want to know more about the way she thinks and the underlining flow of flowers and their language is not only fun but interesting. I highly recommend this read not only for flower lovers but also for discussion groups as there is so many ways to discuss this book further.
The Bookies over all rated this one a steady 4 out of 5. While we differed somewhat on how we felt about Victoria, we still enjoyed the read and the characters. The flower discussion was good and I had printed out lists for everyone of Victoria’s Dictionary Of Flower, found on-line and created by the author.
Fresh flowers of course adorned our get together as well as flower book marks. Our food for the review looked like this:
The foods served were some mentioned in the book. I went with Zucchini Linguini because Zucchini starts out as a flower. 😉
The Language of Flowers makes for a wonderful discussion book for book clubs.
Also submitted to Beth Fish Reads, Weekend Cooking Meme.