There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson
The best thing about The Language of Flowers was the way the Victorian concept that each variety of flower conveys a message was woven into the plot of this book. For example, purple dahlias convey dignity, and lavender signals mistrust. I had only vaguely thought about the concept before as in sending a red rose on Valentine's Day. So I really looked forward to the exploration of the idea in a novel. And this part of the story was the best and most creative part of the book.
If only the story itself had been that creative or fascinating. Instead it just seemed too overwrought. Victoria was too unbelievably damaged. She veered back and forth from one unbelievable decision to another. It almost gave me whiplash :) *** spoiler alert!*** Since she had been damaged by all her abandonment, it made some sense that she was messing up her life pretty badly, although most of the time it just made me roll my eyes in disbelief. The person whose choices did NOT make sense was her "step-mom" Elizabeth. The day when she was supposed to take Victoria to her adoption hearing and she just dropped out and gave up was TOTALLY unbelievable. I know Elizabeth was damaged, too, BUT she was an adult, and she KNEW that she had nurtured poor, damaged Victoria back to a kind of normalcy that would be RUINED by yet another abandonment - the worst one yet. It did not make sense, and I just kind of lost respect for the whole book from that point on. It all began to seem too contrived.
Of course, at the end, the pieces all fell back into a neat, tidy and loving ending, all nicely tied up. I did like the things Victoria said and had learned at the end, but they just seemed too pat. In a way, this book seemed like a young adult novel in its shallowness and need to hammer home a point.
I just couldn't put it down. Authentic characters and story showing that not everyone "speaks the same language." Enjoyed following her story, wishing it didn't end.
This was only my third audiobook so I am by no means a critic but this was extremely enjoyable. Narrator was good and even her other voices (for different characters) were done well.
The moment when Elizabeth and Victoria were reunited. I felt like I was on the sidelines watching and rooting for this moment.
Her accents and other voices for the other characters in story.
Victoria. I would tell her that even though she is young and was never shown love by those that matter most that there are good people to be trusted and that she deserves to let them in. She needs to get past her past.
The story is ok. It's a fantasized version of the trials and tribulations of the foster care system. I personally prefer a more realistic view. The story is lightened even more so by Victoria's interest in flowers and their meanings. The narrator's voice is very childlike and can become irritating (in my opinion). Fine entertainment, wouldn't recommend for a reader who prefers more realistic fiction.
No! I know that this was the "go to" book of the Summer....listening was boring enough...if I had bought it, I would have put it down and hand it to someone I know who is a gardener.Sometimes authors like to "show off" on how much they know about a subject....this was the case with this book......the story was written around way too much floral information. I didn't purchase a flower book....I bought what I thought would be a good story.
Her voice was one of the only thing that kept the book moving. She has a nice voice for narration.
NO.....normally I would not have listened so long to a book I clearly did not care for....but it was the "IT" summer book and I thought it would get better or have everthing come together in the end that brought it all together in an amazing way...it didn't.
This is only my humble opinion...if you enjoyed it great. If you have not...having a love of flowers and such and their meanings when you give them to someone you may enjoy it. There is a story around all the floral stuff.....you just have to go thru a lot to get it
Not often does an author present you with a protagonist that is so hard to like as Victoria. But, Diffenbaugh does a masterful job building your empathy for Victoria even as you struggle to understand her behavior. The author also did a great job painting a picture in my mind of every setting in the story. I loved learning about the secret meaning behind each type of flower and felt that added to the story in such a rich, wonderful way. I do applaud Diffenbaugh for not wrapping the story up in a neat little bow, but leaving us with a sense of hope for Victoria as she grapples to trust, love and be reliable.
This is a great story. You will learn what different flowers could mean. It is a multi-layered story about love, commitment, survival, and consequences. It passes chapter to chapter from Victoria's childhood in the foster system to Victoria as a young adult just out of the foster system. The things that happen to her and what she does all seem realistic. The book in some ways reminded me of Chocolat. I loved learning about the meaning (language) of flowers.
I loved Victoria. I thought the author really developed this character. Also, I loved Elizabeth. These two characters were so real that by the end of the book, I felt that I knew them.
Elizabeth. I thought she was so interesting. She lived alone, but had so much love to give and so much knowledge to share.
I highly recommend this listen. The narrator was perfect for the book.
the title so that it would be most descriptive of the content
She fit the subject matter so I believe she was appropriate
Almost all abandoned and/or severely neglected children achieve some happiness and stability in their adult lives only when they accept that they will have to lovingly and competently parent themselves to heal and prevail. In this novel, the author dredges up the prince of fairy tales to save the damsel in distress, giving us yet another man who loves purely, unconditionally and with blazing abandon.
If readers could have shared instead the heroine's years of hard work with a good therapist, this book could have been a strong testament to the resilience of the human heart and healing power of the truth-seeking mind.
It's heroine's dependence on a shining-armor clad knight for her story's resolution.
Competent, evocative, respectful of author's intent.
Disappointment and frustration.