09 April 2011

Book Review: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Title: The Language of Flowers
Author: Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 978-0-230-75258-0
465 pages
Genre: Fiction
Proof copy provided by the publisher

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the author's debut novel and was the subject of a 9-publisher auction.

It is the poignant story of a young woman searching for love and a sense of family and finding both through her remarkable talent for knowing the meaning of flowers.

Victoria Jones spent her childhood in the foster care system and now at the age of 18, she is homeless and sleeping in a public park. Despite her circumstances, Victoria finds a sense of purpose by planting a small garden in the park and her talent and knowledge about flowers is discovered by Renata, a local florist.

The backstory of Victoria's troubled past is interwoven with the story of her present life, working in Renata's florist shop.Victoria loves the work and because she is able to convey emotions through the language of flowers, it means that her special talents are soon in demand.

Victoria meets a charming young man, a vendor at the flower market and she is attracted to him but she must confront a haunting secret from her past, before she can take a chance on accepting love and happiness.

When Victoria was ten years old, she is placed in foster care with Elizabeth, the woman who taught her about the language of flowers.

Victoria learns about love and trust from Elizabeth, and believes she has finally found a place where she wanted to stay but there is an incident that will dramatically alter both their lives.

Later, as an adult,Victoria learns about the healing power of love and friendship, and ultimately about taking a second chance at finding happiness.

The references to the meaning of flowers are fascinating to learn about and I was pleased to see "Victoria's Dictionary of Flowers" is included at the end of the book.There is also a very interesting Author's Note explaining how the dictionary of flowers came about.

The Language of Flowers is reminiscent of Chocolat, the novel by Joanne Harris. Both stories are about a woman with an unusual talent that affects her and those around her, and about how this talent helps to change their lives.

I loved The Language of Flowers. It was a real joy to read and I wish to thank the publisher, Pan Macmillan, for sending me a proof copy.

I highly recommend The Language of Flowers.


  1. I'm almost through with this and I just love it to pieces! Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Hi Pam. I think it's a fabulous story. So pleased to hear you're enjoying it too.