Vanessa Diffenbaugh‘s debut novel The Language of Flowers was so enjoyable! My lovely, lovely Aunt Kathy suggested it to me and once I started it, I could not put it down. What incredible writing from a first time published author!
The language of flowers has always been important to former foster child Victoria. In and out of adopted and group homes, she has never really found her place in the world. At 18, after numerous failed attempts at being placed, Victoria is thrown out into the world to make her own way. She ends up homeless with no place to live and no career to speak of. Having no talents except in gardening, Victoria happens upon a floral shop and practically begs for a job. Flowers have been her only talent and she dives head first into working at the shop and making floral arrangements for weddings. Working with flowers comes as second nature to her and she finally gets back on her feet, working at the floral shop and renting a small room in an apartment with her boss’ sister.
A chance run-in with a former acquaintance turns her life upside down as she recalls her almost life with Elizabeth, a former foster-mother and almost permanent home for Victoria. Bits of Victoria’s past come back in fragments of stories as she tries to take responsibility for her past and control of her future.
Victoria is such a gripping character, she’s messed up in the head and life has done her wrong, but somehow she manages. She continues to move forward and rarely feels completely inept at living. Victoria’s got so much going on in her head and life, it was a blast going through her past and struggling through her present with her.
I would suggest this novel to all female readers. It really kept my interest the whole way through! Great story and concept and I really felt that the characters were entirely endearing.