Book Review: Vanessa Diffenbaugh 'The Language of Flowers'
A relatable, meaningful, inspirational and fantastic novel for teenage girls and grown women!
This Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller novel The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a meaningful, insightful, inspirational, and emotional novel that I recommend all teenage girls and grown women to read once in their lifetime. The Langauge of Flowers tells the story of a young woman (Victoria Jones) who uses the language of flowers and their definitions as a therapeutic form of communicating strong emotions like neglect, solitude, grief and displeasure. Victoria's raw emotions and thoughts about her experiences and tough childhood in and out of the foster care system determine her quality of life and ability to live independently and meaningfully as an adult. Once Victoria turned 18 years old, she becomes homeless and plants a small garden of her own at a local park in California. Her interest in learning about flowers and their definitions leads her to purposeful employment as a florist at a local flower shop named Bloom. Throughout her adulthood, Victoria encounters an introverted, mysterious and young man named Grant, who works as a flower farmer and vendor. Over a period of time, Grant and Victoria start a relationship, resulting in Victoria's young pregnancy and duty to revisit her past and share her painful secrets to decide whether it is worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness and satisfaction.
This book is one of my new "top ten favourite novels", because of the level of relatability that found in this novel. I also loved the amount of poetic language and strong emotions that were conveyed in the story. By studying and exploring Victoria's character traits, experiences from her youth and her level of determination to keep living and thriving, I was able to recall some of the similar experiences that I have had in my youth. Although I have never been a foster child or had to endure such painful experiences like neglect and abuse, the experiences that I have had with the education system, in friendships, relationships and with mental health definitely created a high level of relatability and connectivity to the story and the protagonist. It inspires me to see how a traumatised child such as Victoria can grow up to be a passionate, intelligent, creative and committed young woman. This novel include a mixture of all negative and positive emotions that make the story plot extremely complex and intriguing.
Explore the meanings of six flowers from the book that I chose to include in this book review:
1. Honeysuckle: Devotion
2. Red roses: Love
3. Baby's breath: Everlasting love
4. Jonquil: Desire
5. Marigold: Grief
6. Thistle: Misanthropy
The author Vanessa Diffenbaugh did a phenomenal job at bringing all the characters and scenes of the novel to life! Many of the philosophies that were elucidated really stand out to me, and I want to remember them for the rest of my life. The message that Vanessa gives out is: life is hard for everyone, and that everyone deserves a second chance and forgiveness. We have all had traumatic experiences of some kind, but that cannot prevent us from moving forward and being successful. Although we may feel frightened and nervous to confront our past and problems, it is worth it if you want to grow up and better yourself. Just like various forms of therapy like expressive arts therapy, pet therapy and equine therapy, flowers can be a great form of therapy for those who struggle with effective communication, as well as having a strong connection to nature.
My overall rating of the book: 4/5! Some parts of the novel triggered me, however it was a magical, sensible and amazing read that I also recommend for women's book clubs and novel studies in high schools. Even though I believe that it will be more interesting to females, I have no problem with males being inspired and interested in this beautiful story!