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11 Partner Warehouse Literature- A to Z

The Language of Flowers

by

The Language of Flowers Cover

ISBN13: 9780345525543
ISBN10: 034552554x
Condition: Student Owned
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.

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.

Review:

"Diffenbaugh's affecting debut chronicles the first harrowing steps into adulthood taken by a deeply wounded soul who finds her only solace in an all-but-forgotten language. On her 18th birthday, Victoria Jones ages out of the foster care system, a random series of living arrangements around the San Francisco Bay Area the only home she's ever known. Unable to express herself with words, she relies on the Victorian language of flowers to communicate: dahlias for 'dignity'; rhododendron for 'beware.' Released from care with almost nothing, Victoria becomes homeless, stealing food and sleeping in McKinley Square, in San Francisco, where she maintains a small garden. Her secret knowledge soon lands her a job selling flowers, where she meets Grant, a mystery man who not only speaks her language, but also holds a crucial key to her past. Though Victoria is wary of almost everyone, she opens to Grant, and he reconnects her with the only person who has ever mattered in her life. Diffenbaugh's narrator is a hardened survivor and wears her damage on her sleeve. Struggling against all and ultimately reborn, Victoria Jones is hard to love, but very easy to root for. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Instantly enchanting.... [Diffenbaugh] is the best new writer of the year." Elle

Review:

"I would like to hand Vanessa Diffenbaugh a bouquet of bouvardia (enthusiasm), gladiolus (you pierce my heart) and lisianthus (appreciation). In this original and brilliant first novel, Diffenbaugh has united her fascination with the language of flowers — a long-forgotten and mysterious way of communication — with her firsthand knowledge of the travails of the foster-care system.... This novel is both enchanting and cruel, full of beauty and anger. Diffenbaugh is a talented writer and a mesmerizing storyteller. She includes a flower dictionary in case we want to use the language ourselves. And there is one more sprig I should add to her bouquet: a single pink carnation (I will never forget you)." Washington Post

Review:

"A fascinating debut.... Diffenbaugh clearly knows both the human heart and her plants, and she keeps us rooting for the damaged Victoria." O Magazine

Review:

"An unexpectedly beautiful book about an ugly subject: children who grow up without families, and what becomes of them in the absence of unconditional love...Jane Eyre for 2011." The San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"(T)he first-time novelist and real-life foster mother masterfully mixes sweet and tart to create a story that is devastating, yes, and hopeful, but also surprisingly, satisfyingly real." Redbook

Review:

"A moving and beautifully written portrayal of the frailty — and the hardness — of the human spirit". The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Review:

"The language of flowers, as illuminated through Victoria's words and a special appendix, turns out to be an addictive preoccupation." NPR

Synopsis:

With its irresistible and irreverent blend of Southern Gothic and Sicilian "malocchio," a lush, exuberant tale of a reluctant saint, her unforgettable family, and the myriad difficulties (some real, some imagined) we all face when it comes to loving and being loved.

Synopsis:

Born in Sweetwater, West Virginia, with a mop of flaming red hair and a map of the world rendered in port-wine stains on every surface of her body, Garnet Ferrari is used to being an outcast. With her sharp tongue, she has always known how to defend herself against bullies and aggressors, but she finds she is less adept at fending off the pilgrims who have set up a veritable tent city outside her hilltop home, convinced that she is Saint Garnet, healer of skin ailments and maker of miracles.

Her grandmother, the indelible Nonna Diamante, believes that Garnets mystical gift can be traced back to the familys origins in the Nebrodi Mountains of Sicily, and now the Vatican has sent an emissary to Sweetwater to investigate. Garnet, wanting nothing more than to debunk this “gift” and send these desperate souls packing, reaches back into her familys tangled past and unspools for the Church a tale of love triangles on the shores of the Messina Strait; a sad, beautiful maidens gilded-cage childhood in blueblood Virginia; and the angelic, doomed boy Garnet could not protect.

Saint or not, Garnet learns that the line between reality and myth is always blurred, and that the aspects of ourselves we are most ashamed of can prove to be the source of our greatest strength, and even our salvation.

Video

About the Author

To write The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh found inspiration in her own experience as a foster mother. After studying creative writing and education at Stanford University, Vanessa taught art and writing to youth in low-income communities. She and her husband, PK, have three children and live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This is her first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 16 comments:

Celilo, June 24, 2013 (view all comments by Celilo)
What sets this book apart is the brief education it provides the reader with the malleable meanings and significance of flowers. Set in the S.F. Bay area, a predictable tale of a disenfranchised foster child who must fumble her way to connecting with humanity, learn to make a living, and find a romantic relationship. It's a delightful take on a favorite story line.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
seniye, January 26, 2012 (view all comments by seniye)
In The Language of Flowers, Deffenbaugh weaves a sumptuous tale of Victoria, an 18 year old foster child that grew up in 32 different homes. Upon her emancipation, she lives in a city park where she grows a luxurious garden. At her job, Victoria is able to create striking flower arrangements that secretly address the customer’s needs through the meaning behind each flower. At the flower market, Victoria meets a mysterious flower-seller that knows the meaning of flowers, too, and so begins a secret language back and forth between them. Victoria wrestles with her past as she tries to move forward with her life. This glorious debut novel is like no other. It engaged my interest immediately and thoroughly. I could not put this book down until the past secret that Victoria tries to avoid is divulged in this exquisite novel.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
jk11, January 22, 2012 (view all comments by jk11)
Subject matter easily forgotten and all too often taken for granted.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 16 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345525543
Author:
Diffenbaugh, Vanessa
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Author:
Manilla, Marie
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
fiction;flowers;foster care;san francisco;foster children;florists;family;homelessness;mothers and daughters;romance;abandonment;adoption;love;california;motherhood;relationships;novel;contemporary;contemporary fiction;coming of age;language of flowers;mo
Subject:
fiction;flowers;foster care;san francisco;foster children;florists;family;homelessness;mothers and daughters;romance;abandonment;adoption;love;california;motherhood;relationships;novel;contemporary;contemporary fiction;coming of age;language of flowers;mo
Subject:
fiction;flowers;foster care;san francisco;foster children;florists;family;homelessness;mothers and daughters;romance;abandonment;adoption;love;california;relationships;motherhood;novel;contemporary;contemporary fiction;coming of age;language of flowers;or
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Language of Flowers Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.00 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345525543 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Diffenbaugh's affecting debut chronicles the first harrowing steps into adulthood taken by a deeply wounded soul who finds her only solace in an all-but-forgotten language. On her 18th birthday, Victoria Jones ages out of the foster care system, a random series of living arrangements around the San Francisco Bay Area the only home she's ever known. Unable to express herself with words, she relies on the Victorian language of flowers to communicate: dahlias for 'dignity'; rhododendron for 'beware.' Released from care with almost nothing, Victoria becomes homeless, stealing food and sleeping in McKinley Square, in San Francisco, where she maintains a small garden. Her secret knowledge soon lands her a job selling flowers, where she meets Grant, a mystery man who not only speaks her language, but also holds a crucial key to her past. Though Victoria is wary of almost everyone, she opens to Grant, and he reconnects her with the only person who has ever mattered in her life. Diffenbaugh's narrator is a hardened survivor and wears her damage on her sleeve. Struggling against all and ultimately reborn, Victoria Jones is hard to love, but very easy to root for. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Instantly enchanting.... [Diffenbaugh] is the best new writer of the year."
"Review" by , "I would like to hand Vanessa Diffenbaugh a bouquet of bouvardia (enthusiasm), gladiolus (you pierce my heart) and lisianthus (appreciation). In this original and brilliant first novel, Diffenbaugh has united her fascination with the language of flowers — a long-forgotten and mysterious way of communication — with her firsthand knowledge of the travails of the foster-care system.... This novel is both enchanting and cruel, full of beauty and anger. Diffenbaugh is a talented writer and a mesmerizing storyteller. She includes a flower dictionary in case we want to use the language ourselves. And there is one more sprig I should add to her bouquet: a single pink carnation (I will never forget you)."
"Review" by , "A fascinating debut.... Diffenbaugh clearly knows both the human heart and her plants, and she keeps us rooting for the damaged Victoria."
"Review" by , "An unexpectedly beautiful book about an ugly subject: children who grow up without families, and what becomes of them in the absence of unconditional love...Jane Eyre for 2011."
"Review" by , "(T)he first-time novelist and real-life foster mother masterfully mixes sweet and tart to create a story that is devastating, yes, and hopeful, but also surprisingly, satisfyingly real."
"Review" by , "A moving and beautifully written portrayal of the frailty — and the hardness — of the human spirit". (UK)
"Review" by , "The language of flowers, as illuminated through Victoria's words and a special appendix, turns out to be an addictive preoccupation."
"Synopsis" by , With its irresistible and irreverent blend of Southern Gothic and Sicilian "malocchio," a lush, exuberant tale of a reluctant saint, her unforgettable family, and the myriad difficulties (some real, some imagined) we all face when it comes to loving and being loved.

"Synopsis" by ,
Born in Sweetwater, West Virginia, with a mop of flaming red hair and a map of the world rendered in port-wine stains on every surface of her body, Garnet Ferrari is used to being an outcast. With her sharp tongue, she has always known how to defend herself against bullies and aggressors, but she finds she is less adept at fending off the pilgrims who have set up a veritable tent city outside her hilltop home, convinced that she is Saint Garnet, healer of skin ailments and maker of miracles.

Her grandmother, the indelible Nonna Diamante, believes that Garnets mystical gift can be traced back to the familys origins in the Nebrodi Mountains of Sicily, and now the Vatican has sent an emissary to Sweetwater to investigate. Garnet, wanting nothing more than to debunk this “gift” and send these desperate souls packing, reaches back into her familys tangled past and unspools for the Church a tale of love triangles on the shores of the Messina Strait; a sad, beautiful maidens gilded-cage childhood in blueblood Virginia; and the angelic, doomed boy Garnet could not protect.

Saint or not, Garnet learns that the line between reality and myth is always blurred, and that the aspects of ourselves we are most ashamed of can prove to be the source of our greatest strength, and even our salvation.

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