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The Language of Flowers


The Language of Flowers Cover

ISBN13: 9780345525543
ISBN10: 034552554x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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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.
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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.
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jk11, January 22, 2012 (view all comments by jk11)
Subject matter easily forgotten and all too often taken for granted.
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Donna Davis, January 8, 2012 (view all comments by Donna Davis)
This is a brillianty written story from a young new novelist about one little girl set in Northern California, starting with her abandonment as an infant and her hard scratch plight for survival amid the highs and lows of being shuffled through the foster care system. We are often dealt circumstances beyond our control. It is what we ultimately do with these circumstances that shape the life we are truly meant to lead. Wrapped up in self-absorbed survival mode, we fail to see the signs of who truly cares. By opening our hearts to others, we finally move beyond our frantic search for self and recognize that elusive fulfillment.
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Saramarg, January 4, 2012 (view all comments by Saramarg)
Newcomer Vanessa Diffenbaugh hit a home run the first time at bat with this lovely story. Protagonist Victoria Jones is not an easy person to like, though. She's prickly and damaged and reluctant to take help from anyone. But she was clearly destined to work with flowers, and they are her salvation. I thought this might be a story in the vein of Sarah Addison Allen (a favorite), but aside from some similarities with magical realism, it carves out its own place in the literary pantheon. Give it a try.
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Product Details

Diffenbaugh, Vanessa
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Kallos, Stephanie
Manilla, Marie
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
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
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
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
Family story;autism;women s fiction;Anne Tyler;language;handwriting
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9 x 6 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
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 416 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 ,
The new novel from the best-selling author of Broken for You spins the stories of a dedicated teacher, his enigmatic son, and a wartime survivor into an affecting tale of love, loss, and handwriting.
"Synopsis" by ,
The new novel from the best-selling author of Broken for You spins the stories of a dedicated teacher, his enigmatic son, and a wartime survivor into an affecting tale of love, loss, and handwriting.

Charles Marlow teaches his high school English students that language will expand their worlds. But linguistic precision cannot help him connect with his autistic son, or with his ex-wife, who abandoned their shared life years before, or even with his college-bound daughter who has just flown the nest. He’s at the end of a road he’s traveled on autopilot for years when a series of events forces him to think back on the lifetime of decisions and indecisions that have brought him to this point. With the help of an ambitious art student, an Italian-speaking nun, and the memory of a boy in a white suit who inscribed his childhood with both solace and sorrow, Charles may finally be able to rewrite the script of his life.

Sometimes the most powerful words are the ones you’re still searching for.

"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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