The Language Of Flowers

Book: The Language Of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Publishing Info: Published by Ballantine Books; 336 pages in Hardcover

The Language Of Flowers is about 18-year-old Victoria Jones, who has spent her whole life going from foster home to group home.  She has an incredibly hard time getting close to people, and using flowers is her way of communicating.  After leaving the system, she sleeps in a park until she gets a job assisting a local florist.  She comes across someone from her past and wonders if she should start opening up.

I didn’t like it nearly as much as I thought.  I just couldn’t care about Victoria, and didn’t find her likeable.  I felt bad for her, since she was abandoned at the tender age of 3 weeks and spent her whole life in and out of foster homes.  But there were people who clearly cared for her, and it’s hard to see why, when she did her best to shut them out of her life.

The aspect of communicating through flowers, with their own hidden meanings, was interesting, but it got tedious to read about the meaning of flowers after a while.

It started off well, when we get introduced to Victoria and see her life right after leaving the foster care system.  Shifting between the present and her time in one of her foster homes didn’t work for me, but Elizabeth (one of her foster moms) seemed to have an impact on Victoria’s life.  It starting going downhill about halfway through, when Victoria gets pregnant.  She tries to take care of her unnamed baby (after having it completely off-grid) but ends up leaving her child her father’s house.  But it turns out that he couldn’t handle taking care of a child either, so he gives the child to Elizabeth, who turns out to be his aunt, and the woman who would have adopted Victoria, had she not set Elizabeth’s vineyard on fire and lied about Elizabeth abusing her.

It was hard for me to care about what happened to Victoria or muster any kind of sympathy when she seems hellbent on leaving people in the wake of her 0wn self-destruction.  And when she seems to only care about her own burgeoning flower business.

And the ending!  It wrapped a little too nicely, with Victoria deciding to give raising her daughter another chance.  It didn’t seem to fit the character, and for me, it was far too random to make much sense.

I have to give it a 1 out of 5.  I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and it’s just not for me.

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