I’ve had The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh on my Kindle since a colleague at the first school I worked in (so about 7 years) recommended it to me. I think I’ve just been so distracted by fantasy and dystopian that I haven’t thought to read it until now. However, as I’m in the middle (well near the end) of the Throne of Glass series, and didn’t want to pack those books to take to Cornwall with me, I decided that now was the perfect time to read all the other books as they hopefully won’t take my head out of TOG world.
I can’t believe it did take me so long to get to this book. I read it in three days, which is quick for me. It’s about an eighteen-year-old girl, Victoria, who ends up homeless after ageing out of the foster care system. She also happens to be amazing at making flower arrangements based on the meaning of flowers and so gets a job at a florist. On a trip to the market to purchase flowers, she encounters a man and she feels herself beginning to trust again.
The story is told in alternating chapters of Victoria now as she works at the florist shop, struggling with her new relationship and chapters of Victoria when she was ten, being fostered by a woman called Elizabeth. You realise early on something dramatic and terrible happened during this time with Elizabeth and it affects her life eight years later. I really liked these chapters in the past as over time young Victoria grew and you could see she had the ability to love but had awful experiences in past foster homes and so no longer trusts anyone. Which ties in with the present Victoria as she gets close to someone but believes she will fail again and so doesn’t trust herself.
I loved how patient Grant was with Victoria, letting her go to him at her own pace and never forcing her into anything. Which then makes you cross at Victoria for the way she treats him. But then you can understand why she treats him like that from her past. It’s a whole confusion of feelings but in a good way.
It was really interesting to read about the meaning of different flowers, something I didn’t have a clue about before. Victoria communicates her feelings by giving flowers, some with good meaning, others with bad. The author has even included a dictionary of flower meanings of her own at the end of the book.
I loved this book and definitely want to read more like this. Has anyone else read this?