The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House
Victoria Jones has spent her entire eighteen years in the foster care system, and the one thing she has taken from her horrific experiences has been the Victorian language of flowers. At eighteen, she ages out of the system and becomes homeless, living in a public park where she cultivates her own little garden. It is there where she is discovered by a local florist, and Victoria finds her calling in creating beautiful bouquets for people that, using the language of flowers, convey exactly the emotions they are trying to showcase. But her carefully constructed new life changes drastically when a stranger at the flower market catches her attention and causes her to reexamine the past she’d thought was left behind forever.
I had seen this book around quite a bit but I only became interested in reading it when my friend Heather said it was one of her favorite books she read last year. I trust her judgment when it comes to great books, so I knew I had to read The Language of Flowers sooner than later. And oh my gosh, Heather was so right about this one! This book will stay with me for a long, long time.
This is the kind of book that, when not reading it, I was obsessively thinking about it. I read a lot of books, but that doesn’t happen to me often, probably because I have a lot of other things going on in my life than what I am currently reading. But, no joke, whenever I was forced to put down The Language of Flowers, I would count the minutes until I could get back to it, even if I could only sneak in a single page I was desperate to get back to Victoria and her story. It was that compelling, that real to me.
And oh my goodness, did I feel for Victoria. That girl broke my heart. Her situation was just so unimaginably awful, I couldn’t even comprehend what it would be like to live in her shoes. She literally had no family, not one person to love her, and as the book goes on it becomes clear that the one person who did love and care for her as a child Victoria pushed away. So, so sad. But she goes on a major emotional, personal journey throughout the course of the novel, and let me tell you, while it was extremely painful to read at times, in the end it was totally worth it. Victoria’s story is like nothing you’ve read before, in the best possible way. She will break your heart and put it back together again, over and over throughout the novel.
I loved this book. LOVED. I sobbed while reading it, in both happy and sad ways. Please read it, you won’t be sorry.