Book Review: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

I finished listening to an audiobook version of The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, narrated by Tara Sands yesterday. And wow, it’s just an amazingly written book. As it should be since it discusses the language of flowers.

The Language of Flowers follows the life of Victoria, a ward of the state her entire life. It opens with her in a group home, on her eighteenth birthday, or at least what the state has decided is her eighteenth birthday for emancipation purposes. We find that she has been a troubled youth, closed off from others. The only thing she seems attached to or happy about seems to be flowers. She uses them to communicate her feelings, although she knows that most don’t know what she is trying to tell them and in actuality, she doesn’t care that they don’t know.

This is how our story opens. We continue to follow Victoria as she ventures out into the world, stumbling and then gaining ground, meeting people from the past. We also get to know her past, and how she came to  know so much about flowers and their meanings, through flashback chapters.

This novel is a story of families, struggle, and meanings. Most of all I think it is a story of conveying feelings and finding a way to communicate, even if we are broken. Beautifully written, the story is as beautiful as the language of flowers, it is also a heart wrenching tale. I loved learning all the different meanings of flowers, you may rethink your favorite flower after reading this, and while looking for a link to the book I found that their is a A Victorian Flower Dictionary companion for this book, that the author worked on. I love that she has worked so thoroughly on this book to add that detail as the flower dictionary  plays such a central role in the novel.

As for the narrator of the audiobook she did an amazing job of bringing the character to life. She was able to give a child like voice to the character in the flashback chapters and bring the age and maturity to the voice in the present day chapters. Each character in the novel had a distinct voice. It was a wonderful listening experience and I highly recommend it.

So check out The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, in either print or audiobook, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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1 Comment

  1. I adored this book! 🙂


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