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The Language of Flowers

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Reviewed by Peg Germein on November 26, 2014

Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s “The language of flowers” could easily have been a fairly ordinary ‘nice’ romantic novel if the author had wanted to take an easy writing route.
Instead, she has tossed in some ‘weeds’ – dysfunctional families, child abuse and arson – and interplanted these with colourful insights into human nature and the power of love to produce a novel which is as original and fragile as one of her character Victoria’s flower arrangements.

The author travels back in time over the chapters, building up the readers’ understanding of the long lasting effects of a traumatic childhood. The book investigates attitudes towards mental illness, foster homes, child abuse and neglect. It shows people can survive, grow and thrive given the chance and a little love and understanding.

The reader follows Victoria Jones’ slow and painful growth towards acceptance of herself and others as she becomes a mother herself. The power of friendship and family and the gradual blossoming of Victoria’s floristry talents and her romance with the mysterious and incredibly patient Grant are revealed, along with the fascinating “Flower Dictionary” that explains the language of flowers.

This is an honest and memorable book!

Publisher: Random House
Year published: 2014
Peg Germein‘s rating: 8 out of 10

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