Friday, October 25, 2013

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

I was a little leery of starting a book about flowers. I am not a gardener. I love flowers, but I do not love taking care of them. But this book happens to be about much more than flowers or gardening. It's about the love of flowers, beauty, words, children, and life itself.
Victoria Jones was raised in foster homes. Some bad, some OK, and one very good. It is in her brief stay with one motherless mother-figure who teaches her the names and "meanings" of all the flowers that Victoria is able to blossom herself. But the rest of her life is so filled with hurt and tragedy and isolation, that when she is finally emancipated from the social system, she is at a loss of what to do with her life. But then she comes across a florist and her shop. The florist gives her a job arranging bouquets and delivering to weddings, but it is Victoria's knowledge of just what the flowers mean that people are searching for, longing for. The boy from Victoria's past is also longing for her, and as they reconnect, we discover how different people are but how there is, indeed, love in the world for everyone.
There is a dictionary of flower meanings in the back of this book that I will treasure forever. What a wonderful language to share with others about how you're feeling and how you're feeling about them. I'll never forget this powerful, beautiful book. Give it a try and let me know which flowers speak to you.