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 18 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.
©2011 Vanessa Diffenbaugh (P)2011 Random House Audio
“As a foster care survivor, I feel a kinship with Victoria Jones as she battles loss and risk and her own thorny demons to find redemption. Vanessa Diffenbaugh has given us a deeply human character to root for, and a heart-wrenching story with insight and compassion to spare.” (Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife)
"The Language of Flowers is a primer for the language of love. Vanessa Diffenbaugh deftly gathers themes of maternal love, forgiveness and redemption in an unforgettable literary bouquet. Book clubs will swoon!" (Adriana Trigiani, author of Very Valentine and Don’t Sing at the Table)
“A deftly powerful story of finding your way home, even after you’ve burned every bridge behind you. The Language of Flowers took my heart apart, chapter by chapter, then reassembled the broken pieces in better working condition - I loved this book.” (Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet )
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.
I don't believe she is accomplished enough an author to warrant a second try. Tara Sands did as well as anyone could.
No, I found her characters wooden and story pitted with ridicules flaws.
I like the distinct voices she provided for each character.
I would cut the part after, "This is Audible...."
The story was too exaggerated; the feeding of the baby was ridiculous as was the supposed impact of her choice of flowers.
Not my kind of book, just a download and learn situation
We picked this book for book club and was unsure how much I'd like it. I did enjoy it much more than expected. The narration was good and the story was good, so together I was able to breeze through this book.
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