The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Donna Newman (04/27/13): We read this book for our book group, and I was the facilitator. The reviews for the book were mixed from the group's participants. We felt the flower references were overdone, but the characters were worth discussing. I did find myself wanting to shake the main character into obedience, and I admit crying at the end of the book. As a former resident of San Francisco, I appreciated a lot of the references to the different areas of the city; I used to pass her park on my way to work.  Flower vendors on the downtown streets abound, and passing their stalls always brought sunshine to an often foggy city.
Rating: ***

Nanette Littlestone (04/27/13): I know I read the blurb on the back of the book that described the main character as 18 years old. But I must have skimmed over that fact because I had prepared for an older adult's story. Nevertheless, I was captured from the first page and hard pressed to put the book down when other things called out to me. The author has a beautiful way with language and description, surprising phrases that alternately lure and stun, and the "language of flowers" creates the backdrop for this haunting story. The heroine, Victoria, is such a flawed person that you can't see any hope of liking her, much less rooting for her. But you do. You can't help yourself. I challenge you to see if it doesn't happen to you too.
Rating: *****

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