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'The Language of Flowers' by Vanessa Diffenbaugh - Book Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Ballantine Books

The Bottom Line

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was one of the big debuts of 2011. It is a good pick for book clubs.

Pros

  • Unique story
  • Promising debut
  • Not too sad, not too sweet

Cons

  • Some may find it a bit contrived

Description

  • 'The Language of Flowers' by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was released in August 2011
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • 336 Pages

Guide Review - 'The Language of Flowers' by Vanessa Diffenbaugh - Book Review

The Language of Flowers tells the story of Victoria Jones, an 18-year-old who has aged her way out of the foster care system and is left to take care of herself. Defensive and brittle, Victoria rejects her social worker's final attempts to provide guidance and support, and strikes out on her own. This leads to homelessness in a San Francisco park for a while, but Victoria starts to find salvation in her love of flowers. In particular, Victoria immerses herself in the Victorian language of flowers, in which dahlias mean dignity and sunflowers false riches.

The Language of Flowers is an original story, and a memorable debut novel from author Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Victoria's childhood is bleak but the novel never wears down the reader. Instead, Victoria's cold exterior and stubborn refusal to connect with others makes for a surprisingly charming story. Using flowers to signify emotions is a handy way to keep others at bay when she wants, but she also finds it gives her power over their emotional lives. The Language of Flowers is a recommended read.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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