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The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh review

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

from the library

Synopsis from Goodreads

The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it has been more useful in communicating feelings like 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, Victoria has nowhere to go, and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. When her talent is discovered by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. 

But it takes meeting a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realise what's been missing in her own life, and as she starts to fall for him, she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, and decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

"The Language of Flowers" is a heartbreaking and redemptive novel about the meaning of flowers, the meaning of family, and the meaning of love.
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* * *
First of all, UK cover rocks! It's so apt as well which you would know if you read the story.

I fell in love with this book because of its topic, - flowers. Blame my ex-florist hubby for that. I'm absolutely obsessed with flowers.

The Language of Flowers is all you want it to be and more - beautiful, harsh, emotionally intense and sad.

Victoria has lived all her life in foster houses, been labeled antisocial and unadoptable, impossible to school. Now she is 18 and the state system won't look after her anymore. Instead of finding a job and trying to embrace the life of ordinary people, she hides in the park tending to her flowers and living a homeless precarious life until she sees a florist and asks if she could work for her...

The plot is divided between the past which shows Victoria's childhood and specifically a year of living with Elizabeth who owned a vineyard in the country and originally taught Victoria the language of flowers, and the present where she struggles to survive and cope with her changing feelings for people and herself.

Victoria's deep understanding of flowers allows her to help people with their problems and make them happier. Slowly she finds her circle of friends and starts seeing a young flower vendor Grant, but her insecurities and damaged past run deep. Her life changes are too fast, too dramatic. Will they make her or break her?

I'm saying no more to avoid the spoilers, but the story itself really rings true. It shows that emotional wounds don't heal overnight, and that it takes a tremendous effort to change and allow yourself to be happy.

I don't see this book is YA, it has a very adult feel and reminds me of Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris which I absolutely adore.
* * *
Превосходная, горько-сладкая книга!

Виктория вся своё детство провела в интернатах, она угрюма, сторонится людей, её душевные раны глубоки и её единственная любовь это цветы и их значения.

Когда ей исполняется 18 лет, государство умывает руки и она остаётся предоставлена самой себе. Вместо того чтобы найти работу и влиться в общество Виктория бомжует в парке и следит за своими цвеочными клумбами до тех пор пока не предлагает свою помощь флористу Регине.

С тех пор её жизнь кардинально меняется. Так как Виктория знает викторианский язык цветов, она помогает клиентам Регины подбирая цветы, идеальные для их желаний, и от этого делает людей счастливее.

События в книге поделены на прошлое, в котором Виктория - ребёнок, живущий в приёмной семье Элизабет, владелицы виноградника, которая первой познакомила девочку с языком цветов, и настоящее, в котором Виктория понемногу оттаивает и начинает отношение с молодым продавцом цветов Грантом.

Однако раны молодой женщины настолько глубоки, и изменения в её жизни так внезапны, что она ломается и бежит от всех и вся.

Виктория не знает как быть счастливой, и только невероятные усилия с её стороны и переломные события в её жизни помогают ей потихоньку измениться и найти душевное равновесие.

Это книга не YA, и очень напомнила мне стиль Джоанн Харрис, особенно её Blackberry Wine, что я так люблю.



Anonymous said...

Spot on about the UK cover. It's really gorgeous. Reminds me how the UK edition of Jackie Dolamore's Magic Under Glass is waaayyyy better than the US ed.

Now I have one more book to add to my wishlist. Thanks to you. :P Hehe

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