Monday, November 28, 2011

The Language of Flowers (ARC)

Title: The Language of Flowers

Author: Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Pages: 326

Read Time: 5 Days  

Tag Words: Contemp, Adult crossover, the Victorian language of flowers, motherhood, foster care, falling in love, surviving, living with your choices, 2011 Debut Author Challenge

My Summary:

Victoria is no one's daughter. A foster child with a haunted past she has only one gift, a gift for the Victorian language of flowers, which someone taught her long ago.

Now that the System has kicked her out she is trying to pull her life together, if only to survive.

When ghosts from her past come calling and a language that once seemed so concrete becomes interpretive, everything she thinks she knows is rearranged, and maybe that's not an entirely bad thing at all.

My Review:

Lovely. This is what good contemporary is all about.

A character with rough edges, a boy who is willing to soften them, even if it means a few cuts and scrapes along the way, and a plot that exists outside of the hierarchy high school cafeteria.

Diffenbaugh made me care about these characters, she made me want to flip the pages and she made me love the language of flowers more than I already did because of all Victoria discovers about it.

If you've been wanting to read this, I tell you, pick it up! It's as wonderful as you've been thinking it could be.
Notes on the Names:

The name Victoria seemed a tad too much for a book where the same character discovers the Victorian Language of Flowers, doesn't it?

 Diffenbaugh might as well have called her Flora, or Fluer, or Fiora. 

Thoughts on the Cover:

So entirely boring I wouldn't have picked it up without the title being so straightforward. Thank God for small favors!

I like the idea of a simple cover for this book, but this is just bland!

Parental Book Review *spoilers*

Sexual Content: 


Sex between unmarried adults.

Victoria is very distracted during the scene, therefor I wouldn't describe the tone as hot'n'heavy in the least.



A- 1
Basta*d- 1
H- 1



Mentions of the terrors of life in group homes.

Scenes of arson.

Other Notables:

Teenage pregnancy which is handled in a realistic and mature way by the characters.

1 comment:

Italia said...

This novel captivated me immediately when I read an early review of it. It is the story of Victoria, a foster child in northern California, her experiences as a child moving from one home to another, her experience of "aging out" of the system and becoming a mother herself. It is also the story of one of her foster mothers, a couple of mentors, and a lover. They each have their own history that leads them to Victoria, and their own history that determines their responses to her.

What initially intrigued me and made this story a little unusual, was Victoria's use of the language and meaning of flowers as a way to communicate her own essence and way of experiencing life. As a psychotherapist, I felt the story was fairly realistic regarding her difficulties with attachment disorder as well of the difficulties that caused to those around her. The ending was not obvious to me, although I also found that to be realistic and not so romanticized as often happens in novels.