Friday, June 08, 2012

Review: The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I didn't even mean to start reading it as I was in the middle of another book, but I picked it up and started reading and could not put it down for 2 days. It felt like sitting down into a nice warm bubble bath.

 It's about a girl who was orphaned at birth. She was an angry child who was moved from home to home.  She ends up in group homes and then ages out of the system to become homeless at 18 years old. In one of her homes, where she came closest to having a real mother, she learns the Victorian meanings of flowers. This knowledge is a gift she is able to hold onto through her tumultuous life, and it's allowed to flourish and survive. And eventually, it makes her into an impressive florist.

A lot of horrible things happen to her, and she makes mistakes.  Then, she makes what she thinks is a a really big mistake, but you see her grow up into a woman along the way of this mistake.

I loved the story. It was very sad at times, but I loved seeing this unloved and lost girl who had noting grow into something amazing. I loved all the Victorian meanings of flowers, and it really put a fire under me to learn this lost art.

Ugh, I just realized the one thing I really want to talk about I can't. I don't want to spoil the story. I'll say this -- I just had a really difficult time reading during her big, big, big mistake. It's something that the author described so perfectly through the eyes of this new role -- the enormity of this responsibility, of this nourishment -- I just felt her pain and overwhelming feelings of not feeling like she can go on and do this because I've been through something very similar. I didn't want to read at that point and really considered stopping the book, even though I loved it, because I just didn't want to remember those feelings of being a failure.

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