Now and again I read a book I enjoy so much that I want to share it with everyone. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is one of those books. It had me hooked right from the title. I love anything to do with plants—flowers, herbs, vegetables—and have always enjoyed reading about the meanings of flowers and their medicinal and magical properties.
The Language of Flowers tells the story of Victoria Jones who spent an unhappy childhood growing up in foster homes until she was sent to live with a woman who truly cared for her and taught her the language of flowers. Peppermint Blossom – warmth of feeling, Holly – foresight, Heliotrope – devoted affection, Lavender – mistrust. The chapters alternate between Victoria’s childhood and as a young woman after she has left the foster care system, damaged and distrusting of everyone around her. Finding solace in her beloved flowers, she gains a job in a florist shop, but when she meets a mysterious young man at the flower market and they begin to communicate through the language of flowers, Victoria is forced to confront a secret from her past, a secret that may ultimately destroy everything she has come to love.
I love Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s writing style, her imagery of the flowers that dominate Victoria’s life, the seamless way she writes about the past effecting the future. The Language of Flowers is a beautiful novel of secrets, love, trust and family. This is Vanessa’s first novel. I can’t wait to read her next!