The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers

A Novel

Book - 2011
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The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it's been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what's been missing in her life, and when she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780345525543
Characteristics: 322 p. ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, Victoria Jones is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a... Read More »

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May 02, 2019

This is a story of a lost, abandoned and repeatedly rejected young woman as she tries to handle her abrupt introduction to adulthood......Victoria is raised in a series of foster homes....
she was sent to Elizabeth who taught her the knowledge and love of flowers.....this book is not sunshine, roses and happy freedom

ArapahoeAlyson May 01, 2019

A young woman damaged by the foster care system comes of age and builds a life for herself while immersing herself in flowers.

Mar 15, 2019

The main character has been harmed by the foster care system, which has made her unapproachable, and she feels she is also unlovable. She slowly comes into her own by developing her natural gift of helping heal others through the language of flowers.
This is a great choice for book group discussions.

Feb 21, 2019

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy contemporary fiction that deals tough topics like the foster care system, homelessness, and mental health issues.This story has a lot of depth, but isn't entirely depressing. (just an FYI from someone who keeps that mental diet light!)

Victoria has been in the foster care system her entire life. When she turns 18 she moves to a transitional home to help her get on her feet in the real world. Once she moves in, her only goal is to grow flowers. She's obsessed with cultivating the earth, and giving messages to people via the flower's Victorian meanings. When she gets evicted from the group home, she is homeless living in a park near her plants. She manages to get a job at a flower shop that sets her life in motion. When she meets a man at the flower market who also gives messages via flowers, she reluctantly agrees to spend time with him. All through the book you learn about Victoria's past and how she learned about the meaning of flowers. As her past and present come together she must decide if she is worthy of love and happiness.

This book was not at all what I expected, but I ended up really enjoying it. I thought that Victoria was a very complex character, and while I didn't really understand her very well, I was very invested in her story. I loved the quirkiness that existed in her world, I loved the language of the flowers, I loved the flash backs to her upbringing. The vineyard, and her past there with Elizabeth were some of my favorite parts of the book. I loved Renata and her family the most. I was fascinated by her mom's work as an unofficial midwife, and her relationship with her family. I would like a book about them!! I appreciated that while this book dealt with some tough topics, and was pretty emotional, it was also hopeful and not overly heavy to read. I liked seeing how Victoria's life changed throughout the book, and how she came to find her place in the world. I appreciated that the flower dictionary was included at the end of the book. Having been to San Francisco a few years ago it was fun to read about some of the places the the characters went. I smiled in particular when Victoria visited The Conservatory of Flowers. :)

Jan 22, 2019

I found The Language of Flowers interesting reading, although it took me a long time to finish this book. Too many interruptions but always easy to pick up again. There were times I did not like Victoria, but under the circumstances in which she grew up it was understandable. The characters were very well described and were very real to me when I was reading the book. I enjoyed reading about the different meaning of the flowers.

HCL_staff_reviews Dec 14, 2018

Victoria was abandoned as a baby and has spent her life in various foster homes. Now eighteen, she is on her own and trying to survive. She finds it hard to communicate her feelings and finds that she does it best with the Victorian language of flowers. This is the first book in a really long time to make me cry. It was also really hard to put down. I found myself very invested in Victoria's story and wanting so badly for her life to work out. This is definitely one that will spark a lot of discussion. — Molly R., Oxboro Library

What a wonderful book! Who knew that one could use flowers to communicate the most important things in life, like good luck=white heather, or devotion=red peony? Victoria made her way out of a life of foster care into adulthood by learning and applying the language of flowers. A story to revive faith in adversity and challenges. Such an enjoyable read! (submitted by JB)

Oct 22, 2018

I especially enjoyed how this story was weaved through the language of flowers dictionary. Was not able to put this book down until after the middle section, when the story diverged from the flower dictionary and did slow a little. It all came together in the end. Was flying on a plane for the 1st half which was great. What a surprise when I visited Emily Dickinson's home in Amherst, MA. They had copies of the Victorian Flower dictionary. It's a small world!!

Oct 18, 2018

Beautifully written with characters that were clearly informed by life experience.

Aug 03, 2018

Victoria Jones struggles to overcome her troubled past as she works as a florist. She finds the meaning of flowers adds to the connection she can make with people and their arrangements. This unique gift helps her related to people and her own past.

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