The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh has been in my life for quite a few years now.
It was an old favorite of mine that I just picked up again for fun last month. It was just as thought-provoking this time around, and I'm glad I gave it a second try.
The writing, plot, and characters together spin a story that I just can't put down, even on my second read. It's that addictive and engrossing.
Victoria, recently out of the foster care system that she’d known since she was a baby, has a hard time communicating through words.
She uses flowers instead.
Victoria uses the hidden meanings of different flower types to convey affection, disdain, and anything else she feels at any given moment.
The story follows Victoria's experiences as she works as a florist. Over the course of the novel, she comes to terms with her past, figures out how to handle the handsome guy she keeps bumping into at the flower market, and charts a course for her life going forward.
This is Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s first novel, and it makes sense that the main character has a history of bouncing around between foster homes.
Diffenbaugh, in fact, is one of the founders of the Lifeset Network, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting foster children. So this story is one that's close to her heart. You can check out her nonprofit here!
What I Loved:
- This book avoids the “love fixes everything” trope. Victoria’s life isn’t fixed when she meets the novel’s love interest, Grant. Her insecurities and mistakes don’t vanish. Grant may help her by encouraging her to confront her problems, but it’s ultimately up to Victoria to fix them herself.
- Victoria grows so much emotionally throughout the story. She has moments where she does the wrong thing, and she learns from these moments. The story takes you through a very real, very hard journey as she becomes the kind of person she never thought she could be -- someone who can be happy.
- The use of flower meanings was a great touch. Victoria has a flower for every person and emotion she feels, and her choice to match those with flowers was so fun to read
Some readers don’t like how damaged Victoria is in this novel, but I absolutely love our imperfect heroine.
This book really hit me and made me think about how important it is to confront our past head-on and to accept the help of our loved ones when they offer it. There are a lot of lessons to learn.
It's a must-read for sure!
What are your thoughts?
Have you read this book? Will you be reading it? What kinds of books do you want to see us review in the future?