Sunday, March 1, 2015

Review: The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book came to my attention via Goodreads and I subsequently checked it out from the library, still not knowing exactly what it was about. I hate reading the full blurb of a book. I usually read a meager paragragh, never clicking 'more' to read the full description. If one or two sentences haven't grabbed me, then I'm usually on to something else.

So what did I know about this book? A woman with a 'troubled past' uses the language of flowers to improve others' lives. Not much, but the language of flowers part sold me. And I thought it sounded a bit like a French movie, maybe Italian if she finds love too.

I wasn't prepared for Victoria, a traumatized orphan bounced from foster home to foster home until she's finally deemed unadoptable and lives in group homes until she's eighteen. She has no friends, no family, nothing except this obsession with flowers and their hidden language.

The flashbacks to her childhood are painful, but this isn't a novel of graphic physical or sexual abuse. It's about the trauma that lack of love and belonging produces, and about hope.

It could at times be difficult to believe in the faith placed in Victoria by seemingly random strangers, but this is set in San Francisco. I don't think this story would work in NYC. It also helps to believe that life isn't in any way random at all, and that the natural state of the human heart is love.

I've said before that I don't like romance, but that doesn't mean I don't like a great love story.

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