Review of Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers

At the beginning of the summer, I put together a summer reading list and challenged myself to get all the way through the list before the official start of fall.  I’m happy to say that I made it through almost all of them, plus a few others that weren’t originally on my list!  (You can find the list HERE and my reviews HERE.) The very first book I picked from my list was The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  I hadn’t heard anything about it other than the synopsis I read on Goodreads.

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In June of this year, we took a vacation with my husband’s family (parents, siblings/spouses and kids).  It was a lot of fun, but after being with everyone all day, I needed a little bit of time to unwind and relax.  I’d brought The Language of Flowers with me and found myself trying to find time to read it over the course of our vacation.  Everyone else would be inside visiting or watching a show and I was outside on the porch reading my book.  I was instantly caught up in Victoria’s story and knew within a few chapters that I wanted to suggest it for our book club.

My Summary and Review (5 stars):
Victoria Jones grew up in the foster care system bouncing from home to home, only finding comfort in flowers and their meanings.  Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria must find a way to make a living or be homeless.  She is offered a job working at Bloom and she soon discovers she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them.  Unexpectedly, someone from her past emerges and she’s forced to confront issues that have haunted her for years.  Victoria must decide if it’s worth the risk to delve deeper, and possibly lose what stability she’s found, for a second chance at happiness.

The Language of Flowers could have been a depressing story, but instead it was thought provoking and beautifully written.

Book Club Discussion Questions:

  • What did you think about the story telling style of the book? (switching from past to present)
  • Do you think the novel provided a fair depiction of the foster care system?
  • Why was Victoria so empathetic to the needs of others and is able to pick them the perfect flowers to express their feelings, but she has no sense of love or empathy for herself?
  • Do you agree with Victoria’s decision to give her baby to Grant?  Can you empathize with some of her feelings as a new mother?
  • Use one or two words to describe the book as a whole.
  • What do you think about the language of flowers?  Do you think the meaning a flower has gives some kind of power?
  • What would your wedding bouquet say about you and your spouse?  Is there any truth to it?
  • Do you like the openness of the ending?

If you’d like to read the other book reviews and questions/discussion I’ve posted about, you can click on the links below.

*May contain spoilers*

Summer 2016 Reading List Reviews and Ratings
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
Shatter Me by Tahera Mafi

Happy reading!

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