The Language of Flowers: A Novel

Front Cover
Ballantine Books, 2011 - FICTION - 322 pages
187 Reviews
A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it's been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.

Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what's been missing in her life, and when she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
98
4 stars
62
3 stars
23
2 stars
4
1 star
0

Her writing deeply and truly touched me. - LibraryThing
Parts of this story were hard to read. - LibraryThing
Diffenbaugh's prose is astonishing. - LibraryThing
Seems a common enough plot, really. - LibraryThing
A love story like no other. - LibraryThing
It was exceptional in terms of writing and storyline. - LibraryThing

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Jenna.Czaplewski - LibraryThing

It's hard for me to know where to start with this book. It has been on my to-read list for quite some time. It finally came to the top of the list because it was my pick for the book club I am a part ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JoStARs - LibraryThing

Troubled former foster child Victoria Jones has a unique relationship with flowers and the meanings they convey. This relationship helps her navigate life after the foster care system. Victoria is a ... Read full review

All 2 reviews »

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

To write The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh found inspiration in her own experience as a foster mother. After studying creative writing and education at Stanford University, Vanessa taught art and writing to youth in low-income communities. She and her husband, PK, have three children and live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This is her first novel.

Bibliographic information