Kinx's Book Nook: Book Club Selection

Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Club Selection

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a beautiful book about broken hearts and minds.   I have to say that this book is not what I would have picked for myself. In fact, one of my fellow BBB club members selected it and I have to say I really enjoyed it.  Ms. Diffenbaugh takes you on an unforgettable journey of Victoria Jones, a broken young woman trying to find her place in the world.  Throughout the book you jump back and forth between Victoria as a child and then as an eighteen year old.

Victoria was born and raised in a foster system where she was rarely nurtured or even held. As a child, she was placed in a foster home in hopes of being adopted.  However, due to tragic events, she was returned to a group home, never to be adopted.  Those events had a devastating effect on Victoria’s life.  At eighteen years old, Victoria was emancipated from foster care and sent out into the world with little to no skills to connect with other people. 

However, the one thing Victoria could connect with was flowers. When she was a child, Elizabeth, her last foster mother, taught her the language of flowers that was used in the Victorian period. Flowers gave Victoria the ability to connect and help people. She could use flowers to communicate her feelings and project those feelings on others. Flowers became her entire world.  After reading this book, I wanted to create my own flower bouquet that reflected my feelings for others.  Of course, I couldn’t.  But the itch was there.

There are so many reasons why I loved this book. The way Ms. Diffenbaugh uses the past and present; you are able to understand the depth of Victoria’s suffering. Most of the characters in this book have painful pasts. They seem to be drawn together based on the fact that they recognize that pain in each other. I love the level of acceptance that each character has for each other and the way that acceptance affects Victoria. The acceptance and forgiveness is overwhelming. 

I thought the ending was so fitting for Victoria.  It wasn’t necessarily a happy ending but there is the hope of a happy ending.  If Ms. Diffenbaugh included a sticky sweet happily ever after, it would have left the readers with a horrible taste in their mouths.  Instead, she created an ending for Victoria that is very believable.  It gives you hope that healing can happen. 


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