Book Review: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Adult fiction, young adult, contemporary.

Victoria has nowhere to go, and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden… It takes meeting a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realise what’s been missing in her own life, and as she starts to fall for him, she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, and decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness. The Language of Flowers is a heartbreaking and redemptive novel about the meaning of flowers, the meaning of family, and the meaning of love. Read more…

Spoiler note: This review contains a few (very slight) spoilers.

The Language of Flowersis a coming-of-age novel about Victoria Jones, a young woman brought up in foster-care. Victoria has now turned 18-years-old and is emancipated from the system. The story begins with Victoria’s first day on her own and it switches between present day and Victoria’s childhood throughout the novel. We have access to her entire life; we are able to see the circumstances and the people that shaped her. Victoria is convinced she’s misanthropic and is unable to communicate her feelings, except through the language of flowers.

I really enjoyed the changing viewpoints in the story, switching from past to present, but with interlocking storylines. It enabled me to understand Victoria more as a character. I could understand her stubbornness and unwillingness to interact with other people. It also shows us where Victoria learned about the language of flowers. She can identify most flowers, know their scientific names, and understand their meanings: thistle – misanthropy, daisy – innocence, yellow rose – infidelity, and it is a tool through which Victoria is able to change her life.

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the last quarter of the book as much as the rest. I was uninterested in the events that occurred and so became disengaged. I also felt that Victoria changed too much (although I’m unsure about the exact time-frame) to be a realistic character. I understood that Victoria had changed – she’d grown up, taken responsibility, experienced love, but I did feel as if I was reading about someone else. Nonetheless, I was still eager to hear about the events that took place during her childhood.

Overall, I really enjoyed most of the novel. I was intrigued about Victoria’s past and the characters in her life, and where they would take her. The main message I got from The Language of Flowers highlighted the importance and complexities of communication, and the intricacies of understanding others as well as oneself.

This book was obtained as an eGalley from Random House.

My Rating:★★★½

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

  1. I have this one and now I am worried. I wonder if I will feel the same towards the end.

Comments are closed.