Language of Flowers by Kate Greenaway. Book Cover. Download; Bibrec Subject, Flower language. Category, Text Download This eBook. Read "The Language of Flowers A Novel" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. NEW YORK . Editorial Reviews. medical-site.info Review. A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut Kindle Store · Kindle eBooks · Literature & Fiction.
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A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience. The Language of Flowers A Novel (eBook): Diffenbaugh, Vanessa: "The story of a woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as.
I have received many a horrified look when I have told people that I don't like red roses. Their expression of horror only got worse when I told them I much preferred yellow roses. I was always really confused as to why which flowers I liked would cause such a strong reaction.
Then I read this book and found out. Translation Time. O Now, I'm guessing that this wasn't actually the reason why the look I have received many a horrified look when I have told people that I don't like red roses.
O Now, I'm guessing that this wasn't actually the reason why the looked at me in horror because But I still thought it was interesting because red roses are always associated with romance and lurrrve. But anyway, that has nothing to do with this book. Well, it kind of does because it just shows how unique and interesting I found it. My other two favourite flowers Orchids and lilies mean refined beauty and majesty respectively, so that's better: I wasn't sure at first and that's why I put it off for so long, but once I picked it up I was completely engrossed.
This book had a great dreamy almost magical realism feel about it. And magical realism is my favourite kind of realism. I love the characters, even when I hated them, and the writing was just glorious without being too Ms Diffenbaugh's story was perfectly constructed; with all these little layers added on and meshed together.
I think I loved the 'past' chapters marginally more than I liked the "present" ones, for I adored Elizabeth. But then we have Grant Passion, connection, disagreement, or rejection: None of these was possible in a language that did not elicit a response. But the single sprig of mistletoe, if the give did indeed understand its meaning, changed everything. Victoria is a flawed character and she is not always likeable. AT ALL. But I really appreciated the ending that she was given.
I think I could have gone either way, but Ms Diffenbaugh chose the right one. Maybe it's just me, but I like it when books end with the beginning of a new journey. This review has kind of been thrown together, I apologise. This book deserves better but I thought I'd finish off by sending Ms D a little message I was prepared for this book to lose me completely because of high-brow, literaryness, and get too tangled up in a vine-like metaphor.
But it didn't. It's a very subtle and quiet book and it's wonderful. And I present you with some lupine which means imagination because wow, this premise was brilliant. I also give you a few yellow roses because, as we know, they could also represent jealousy. And I am jealous that I didn't come up with this story. I also have this can of tinned pineapple I'm sure it counts which means "You are perfect" And, nearly done, here is some raspberry.
Not to make a fruit salad with the pineapple but to represent remorse that it took me so long to read this book And lastly, I present you with a poppy because this book was fantastic. I received a copy of this book from the publishers. View all 24 comments.
Nov 17, Elyse Walters rated it it was amazing. If any of my friends especially women friends , have missed reading this book Vanessa, the author, truly wrote a book about something she has direct experience with: Vanessa went to Standard- lived in the Bay Area My favorite book she wrote. I started this book today On Valen Update: I started this book today On Valentines Day I read more than half of it already!
I don't want it to end As I said I LOVE this book! View all 18 comments. This book was to me, the language of growth, acceptance, and love and of coming home.
I have many books on my shelf, but this one stood out simply as I remembered a quick line from a friend, saying she loved it — thanks Jools for this, and for my book.
This was special, and did really suit me in the form of short intense chapters, alternating between the past and present. Tethering me somewhere between constantly feeling bereft yet hopeful, but precariously edgy. I did not put this book down on m This book was to me, the language of growth, acceptance, and love and of coming home. I did not put this book down on many occasions. Lovely Victoria learns the art of flowers language from a young age, and we learn about her as she starts this life lesson.
It was a continual blossoming, and the floral images amazing. I am not capable of even arranging a simple arrangement, but the imagery created for me was breathtaking and evocative.
About our deepening relationship, I felt fear and desire in equal, unpredictable parts.
I want to see these blooms: There was flax, and forget-me-not, and hazel. There were white roses and pink ones, helenium and periwinkle, primrose, and lots and lots of bellflower. I hope some of you read it, it almost smells so good! No need to google images, this is better. View all 38 comments. Jul 17, Erin rated it really liked it.
Hard to put down book about mothers and daughters. I feel completely emotionally exhausted but I had to stay up and find out how everything was going to play out.
If this book has escaped your attention, remedy that right away and pick it up! View all 12 comments. I received this book from Goodreads Giveaways. After my recent horrendous experience with The Rose Labyrinth , which had me wanting to claw my eyes out after four sentences, it was wonderful to come across a novel with such a graceful writing style that was apparent from the first page.
For eight years I dreamed of fire. Trees ignited as I passed them, oceans burned.
The sugary smoke settled in my hair as I slept, the scent like a cloud left on my pillow as I rose. Even so, the moment my mattress I received this book from Goodreads Giveaways. Even so, the moment my mattress started to burn, I bolted awake. The sharp, chemical smell was nothing like the hazy syrup of my dreams; the two were as different as Indian and Carolina jasmine, separation and attachment.
They could not be confused. That being said, I was really torn as to whether this was a three star book or a four star one. In writing style it was a four. I really found myself sucked into it; it only took me 6 hours to read, and that in one sitting.
In the plot, it was a three. The first half of the book's story was very good; the second half had sort of a nosedive as it became more and more predictable.
In character development, it was a four. Victoria was well written and well explored. She had believable positive and negative quirks in her personality. In love interest, it was a three. Victoria is fickle and nonsensical and acts completely out of character when it comes to love and sex. I'm not sure she really truly loves him view spoiler [but ends up with him?! It was like drinking a soda. I loved, loved, loved the beginning of the novel. It was fizzy and exciting and interesting even though I've read a lot like it.
Then somewhere is started to fall flat. The predictability stopped being endearing and the characters became more obnoxious. View all 5 comments. I don't really know what to write about this book. It was well-written, but I'm not sure I liked it. I didn't hate it, though. For me, it's one of those books that left me going, "Umm I like the flower communication and all, but the whole story just sort of took some weird turns and ended up feeling like it wasn't going anywhere.
And then it didn't. It just kind of ended. View all 8 comments. I received this book through a postal book swap and we were just permitted to post online as we are through our rotation. When this book first came out, I kept seeing the hard cover everywhere with its very striking image of white blossoms and a black background.
It kind of had the look of a romance novel, so I hadn't tried it. My friend Kathryn read and loved it, and that had landed it on my to-read list, but I hadn't gotten around to it. I was happy to do so when it ended up in my mail, because I received this book through a postal book swap and we were just permitted to post online as we are through our rotation. I was happy to do so when it ended up in my mail, because I needed a nudge. This was a very readable book, and I read it all in a day when I was lounging around a resort in Orlando while my husband went to some conference sessions.
It made for a very enjoyable vacation read! I expected the weird romance born of flower language to work out, and I did NOT anticipate her abandoning her child and sleeping in the dirt. So it took a sadder direction than I expected, but I was almost glad to see love not conquering all, at least not traditionally, and not on the first try. And I liked the realistic look at the foster care system.
Date listed is date review is posted. View all 7 comments. It was published in by Ballantine Books. The novel follows the fraught life of a Victoria Jones, who by the age of 18, had lived in 32 foster homes, and becomes a flower arranger. The novel was inspired by a flower dictionary, a type of Victorian-era book which defines what different types of flowers mean.
Mar 12, jesse rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 9 comments. Jan 17, Justin Tate rated it it was ok. Thematically it reminded me a lot of Kitchens of the Great Midwest which I thought was superb.
Seems like every book has an orphan in it these day. Are we in the midst of a global identity crisis? I enjoyed being educated on the language of flowers, but felt no sympathy for the characters. May 05, Brandice rated it really liked it.
I love flowers although my knowledge of them is fairly limited, and I really liked this story, where flowers played a central role. The Language of Flowers is a story about Victoria, now a young woman, who was recently emancipated from the court system at She struggles with feelings of abandonment and low self-esteem, as a result of a series of events from her past, stemming from growing up as an orphan.
She lives in San Francisco and works in a flower shop. She has no friends, limited relat I love flowers although my knowledge of them is fairly limited, and I really liked this story, where flowers played a central role.
She has no friends, limited relationships, and initially, pretty limited human interaction. The story easily transitions back and forth between the two time periods.
At times I thought Victoria was intentionally dislikable, and constantly engaging in self-destructive behavior. I realized though that her abandonment issues played a big role in why she chose to do some of the things she did.
Despite my dislike of Victoria for a fair portion of the book, I really enjoyed the story, although a bit darker than I was expecting. I did like the ending of the story too. View all 16 comments. Aug 27, Jen rated it really liked it. Orphaned at a young age, Victoria has been moved to different foster homes, rebelling with angry outbursts and never in one place long enough to establish any solid relationships.
At the age of 10, she is taken in by a woman who teaches her the language of flowers and what each flower means. Through these teachings, Victoria is able to start positively communicating.
However, when the relationship is threatened, she reverts back to behaviour that will cost her the safe haven she has found and sh Orphaned at a young age, Victoria has been moved to different foster homes, rebelling with angry outbursts and never in one place long enough to establish any solid relationships.
However, when the relationship is threatened, she reverts back to behaviour that will cost her the safe haven she has found and she retreats back into her own cold, dark world. It is through her passion of flowers she lands a job with a florist and is reunited with her turbulent past which she has difficulty reconciling her worthiness as a daughter, lover and mother.
This is a story of healing and forgiveness and the power of love that is inherent in nature. I found the meaning of flowers fascinating and how they were used during the Victorian era as a means to express one's feelings for another. Wonderful read View all 28 comments. Dec 02, Margitte rated it it was amazing Shelves: Imagine a little baby as the seed of beautiful flower who travels from birth to fruition through orphanages, group homes, foster care and the social system of America, never falling in fertile soil to take route and thrive?
But then, as destiny would have it, Victoria Jones lands on a flower and vineyard farm in California where the secrets of the Victorian Floriography of the plants is revealed to this girl who only understood the human language of rejection and unworthiness to be loved. She cl Imagine a little baby as the seed of beautiful flower who travels from birth to fruition through orphanages, group homes, foster care and the social system of America, never falling in fertile soil to take route and thrive?
She claimed that she could not read or write, yet understood, and collected, books on botany which was her only real connection to the world and also the key to her psyche when she met Elizabeth on her farm. For the first time in her young life as a nine-year-old girl, Victoria's soul can be unlocked by a person who understood completely and spoke 'her' language.
Through the language of flowers she reconnects to the world, learns to trust and forgive. The language of flowers was the only language she could trust. The one way of communication she could be totally honest in. As time passes and she becomes a young adult, she learns to write her own floral dictionary in which she re-evaluated the different flowers.
She basically changed the destiny of the flowers by changing their meanings. But to get to that point, she had to first lash out and destroy, the only way she learnt how to cope with her world. A long road of redemption and forgiveness was her destiny. Victoria was not a likable young girl and she did unforgivable harm to people, which she also had to forgive herself for. The word 'hate' came easily to her, but it would take a wise woman to teach her that hate can be passionate, disengaged, dislike, but also fear.
Elizabeth taught her that her behavior was a choice, not who she was. I was surprised by this book. It was so much different from what I expected and well worth the read. Of course I never believed in floriography since it resembled the human impulse to box everything up without consideration of the unfairness of the action.
For instance, how cruel can it be to attribute 'Hate' to the cactus plant? Or 'Deceit' and 'Materialism' to the sunflower? I have been involved in botany throughout my adult life and revel in the beauty and magic of all plants.
Floriography in all its splendor was never part of it and won't be in the future. I simply regard it as a waste of time.
However, planning the story around this theme was an unusual and perhaps ambitious undertaking which informed and entertained. Victoria's struggle to make it through a hostile world was very realistic and captivating.
The author managed to mix fantasy and reality in equal measures without losing the plot or the intent. The latter being to capture the life and soul of a little girl lost in in a grown-up world where everybody else decided her destiny until she could finally make that decision herself. She rooted and blossomed. She learnt the language of love in all its different manifestations.
However, for her rebirth she had to go through the pain of being born again. View all 31 comments. This child, this self-admitted odd-bod, Victoria has been in the foster system since birth.
Ask her who her parents are and she will say the Foster System. At age ten, she has been in thirty-nine different foster homes. She is used to, at a moment's notice, being removed or rejected by her foster parents.
She travels light, everything she owns is in a small canvas bag which includes her Dictionary of Flowers. The story is told in two sequences of time; when she is ten, going to a new foster home This child, this self-admitted odd-bod, Victoria has been in the foster system since birth.
The story is told in two sequences of time; when she is ten, going to a new foster home, and when she is eighteen, upon her emancipation from the state foster system. She uses meaning of flowers to convey what she thinks and feels. Over the course of the novel, Victoria creates her own dictionary of flowers using paste cards, definitions, dried flowers and illustrations.
My abridged version of Victoria's dictionary as follows: That in itself would probably make the story well worth reading. For me, I would have liked more description of the flowers but that is just my own personal feeling. A lovely inclusion at story's end is Victoria's Dictionary of Flowers. Quite a good effort as a debut novel; an author to watch. Oct 25, Patty rated it it was amazing Shelves: Moss doesn't have any roots, but it grows anyway, without any roots.
That's what this book is about the roots that we have in our lives, or don't have. Who was your mother, what were her traits, where do you fit in, where did you come from, who are you connected to, your roots. Victoria has spent her life in and out of foster care homes, abused, neglected, unwanted.
The book flashes back to when she was in fosters homes, to when she went to live with Elizabeth at the age of 10, to her current da Moss doesn't have any roots, but it grows anyway, without any roots. The book flashes back to when she was in fosters homes, to when she went to live with Elizabeth at the age of 10, to her current day. This book is beautifully written, some writers just have the ability to connect words in such a way that it almost feels like harmony, poetry.
When Victoria goes to live with Elizabeth, Elizabeth teaches her all about the language of flowers, what each one means. Later Victoria becomes a florist but not just a florist, she doesn't just make pretty arrangements, she makes arrangements with purpose, with a meaning, and her customers love her.
Her customers come to her to fix their marriages, to fall in love, to make sure their marriage is going to work, to get their children to speak to them again and to be happy. It is a beautiful story about how to connect to others, why it is important to have people in your life, to trust, to love.
Read it! Just read it! View all 27 comments. Nov 01, Angela M rated it really liked it. I've always believed that giving flowers meant something. I knew that red roses meant love and somewhere along the line I learned that Baby's Breath , almost always in a bride's bouquet signified everlasting love.
However, that was the extent of my knowledge of the meaning of flowers , originating in the Victorian era - until I read this book. Do flowers speak to us in this way? I really don't know but it's nice to think so and the author has creatively wrapped this language around this stor I've always believed that giving flowers meant something.
I really don't know but it's nice to think so and the author has creatively wrapped this language around this story. Abandoned at birth Victoria is now 18 years old and "emancipated" from being a ward of the state. Her narrative alternates between her life at age ten, when she is taken in by Elizabeth and is finally looking at a chance to have a mother and present day, as she turns 18 and is being released from a group home.
We learn of Victoria's " gift " for helping people convey their feelings , hopes and thoughts , through flowers and we learn what happened when she was ten. The book, though, is about more than what the flowers mean.
It is about what it means to belong , to be loved , to be able to love. It's also about family and forgiveness. I grew to love Victoria and Elizabeth , in spite of their mistakes because I was moved by the sad events in their lives that may have promoted these mistakes.
As for Grant , what can I say other than , I would give him a bouquet of Aster for his patience , Bluebell for his constancy , and cactus - yes cactus for his ardent love. View all 29 comments. Oct 04, Jeannette rated it really liked it. This "review" forces me to think about the five star rating system. Since a number of stars reflects my own personal assessment then I need to be honest about how I feel about a book.
Here is a chance to define my rating system: One star means I should not have read the book, why did I bother? But I did and it was good enough to finish or sk This "review" forces me to think about the five star rating system.
But I did and it was good enough to finish or skip to the end. Three stars means that not only did I read the book, I liked it, but something was missing in order to extol its virtues. In the case of The Language of Flowers, I loved the idea of the book, messages sent with flowers. The book is a romance and as such, the characters were all well defined but just a bit unbelievable. Why was such a horrid, aggressive, uncommunicative, misfit like the "heroine" tolerated, let alone loved by people who hardly knew her about one year of acquaintance?
How could they be so devoted when the side they saw of her was mostly bad and her misdeeds were plentiful? The plot was cleverly done, weaving together the few skills the girl had and her destiny in flowers. But the plot felt contrived too what with the tolerant flower seller, the pregnancy and hiding out in the park then the ugly apartment. The heroines emergence as a potential butterfly after years of caterpillaring existence didn't ring true.
Her inner growth and blooming needed more development in the story. Her lover man's devotion was really a puzzle - she was so awful to him. I wanted more about the flower language throughout the book; the author gave us a bit but I wanted lots more. Also the descriptions of places were were not evocative enough to give me a real sense of time and environment. This was partly because place references were overburdened with details about feelings and behavior - mostly of the "heroine".
It was interesting that there wasnt very much about current events - this created a sense of timelessness, probably intended. The story revolves totally around just a few people. This is a fascinating and desperate tale of one orphan's struggle to survive adjust and blossom. Fine, and the story achieved that. I liked the book but I cannot recommend it to all wholeheartedly and cannot give it a five.
Sorry Vanessa and Victoria and why didnt you give her a flower name? Apr 26, Karen rated it did not like it Shelves: I had difficulty with "the willing suspension of disbelief" required by this novel. I was able to accept Victoria's behavior only because I felt she was in need of serious psychiatric counseling.
However, the behavior of everyone else was completely unbelievable possible exception was the social worker. Why would Elizabeth, the foster mom who loves Victoria so much, risk losing her completely simply because, decades of estrangement from her sister, she decides she can't adopt Victoria without I had difficulty with "the willing suspension of disbelief" required by this novel.
Why would Elizabeth, the foster mom who loves Victoria so much, risk losing her completely simply because, decades of estrangement from her sister, she decides she can't adopt Victoria without her sister's agreement? How could Grant fall in love with Victoria immediately after seeing her for the first time since she was 10 years old?
How could Renata tell that Victoria would be a wonderful assistant after meeting this homeless looking creature just once.
And how did Victoria learn to make such beautiful floral arrangements? There was no mention of this activity when she lived with Elizabeth. They just worked on the meanings. I don't think they even grew many flowers.
The floral nursery and gardens belonged to Grant and his mother. How could Victoria get enough money to start her own business?
And wasn't it a betrayal of Renata to go into competition with her? Furthermore, wasn't it too contrived that Victoria found the perfect assistance in her former group home?
Plus, wasn't it too much of a coincidence that Renata's mother was a midwife? And what about the coincidence that Renata had a sister with a space to rent cheaply?
I won't even mention the illogical things that Victoria did because, as I said before, she truly was psychologically disabled. And the happy ending was so sappy. I didn't care to read over and over again the meaning of various flowers. Besides, I do not believe the choices she made for clients really caused all the good results.
Actually, I did not believe that a florist could get so much business, so quickly, just by word of mouth. Think I'll stop here. I can't think of anything I liked. Kept reading because it was a choice of my book group and it actually did not take too much time - considering I'd frequently skim mention of specific flowers. View all 6 comments. Beth Knight. Victoria is caught up in a foster system that reinforces her feelings of disconnect by shuffling her through countless homes.
She makes a few cringe worthy life choices yet I never felt disgust, emotionally damaged people sometimes do terrible things. Analytically I already knew that critical life skills, in particular socializing, must be learned during infancy. Thanks to this author I think I now get it on an emotional level.
View 2 comments. The Language of Flowers is a debut novel which sparked a major international bidding war. It sold at auction for over 1 million in the US! The blurb gives an awesome synopsis, but I will add a bit to it: The story itself alternates between the present and the past, a chapter at a time.
In the present, Victoria is eighteen, jobless, homeless and sleeping in a park. She manages to get a job working for a florist she knows flowers, in an obs The Language of Flowers is a debut novel which sparked a major international bidding war. She manages to get a job working for a florist she knows flowers, in an obsessed kind of way: She is reserved, quietly spunky and rather unlike any protagonist I have read for a while.
She is not bitter and hardened by the system, but she is ever-so-guarded. In the past, we see snatches of Victoria's childhood. Gabrielle Zevin. The Lake House. Kate Morton. All the Light We Cannot See. Anthony Doerr. All My Puny Sorrows. Miriam Toews. The Painted Girls. Cathy Marie Buchanan. The Illegal: A Novel. Lawrence Hill.
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