I hope you haven’t gone crazy waiting for this week’s book review as I’ve posted it a day late (sorry!), but never fear – this week’s book will lighten the mood and make you smile.
How much do you know about the Victorian meanings of flowers…?
The Language of Flowers
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If you’re looking for a genuinely lovely story, you’ve stumbled upon the right book.
I’ll be honest – this book isn’t spectacular, or groundbreaking, or life-changing, but it is extremely sweet and full of beautiful writing. In The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh takes us on a journey of loneliness, love and lots of flowers. Throughout the course of the story we learn about the different meanings and messages associated with a huge range of plants, and witness the way they shape how the main character, Victoria, interacts with the people around her. This is a really lovely and subtle way to show her changing outlook on people and situations, and it just works so well.
Victoria is a great character, who is immediately likeable. She was put up for adoption as a very young child, and has been in and out of foster homes all her life. Most of her families don’t keep her very long due to her violent outbreaks, brought on by her inability to accept love. That is, until she is placed with Elizabeth. Elizabeth lives on her own, and sees much of herself in Victoria. She promises to keep her, no matter what. It’s through the course of the book that we unravel the story of what exactly happened when Elizabeth had to return Victoria.
Largely, this book is about love. Familial love, romantic love, new love, platonic love, and lost love. Each type is approached in a tender way, showing the effects of each on the people involved. This subject of love is even more interesting due to the fact it’s something Victoria has never experienced before. Generally when we read stories, the characters have experienced love in some form or another, whereas Victoria, up until her time with Elizabeth, had never experienced love in any sense. This makes her journey towards accepting love interesting, albeit sad, because we can imagine how scary such a strong, unfamiliar feeling must be.
Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s writing is simple and sweet, and is easy to get swept up in. She describes characters beautifully, and creates situations and places that are relatable and realistic. Each chapter in the book switches between past and present tense, creating the feeling of unravelling a secret. As each little piece of Victoria’s life is shown to us, we see the rest in a completely different way, and this is incredibly effective in keeping us guessing.
This book is a lovely, easy read, and will make you smile with each chapter. You can pick it up from Book Depository here with free shipping worldwide, if you haven’t got it already. If you read it, or have already read it, make sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments down below! Happy reading!
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Next week’s book is Misery by Stephen King. The review will be posted next Monday – make sure to check in! If you’ve got any other suggestions for book for my challenge, I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below!
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~Some links in this article are affiliate links in that if you purchase something from them, it will not cost you any more, but I will earn a small commission. This does not influence my recommendation in any way, I would still use this product even if I were not an affiliate.~