That makes three winners in a row. I read and loved “The Rules of Civility” and “I Couldn’t Love You More.” Now I’ve read and loved “The Language of Flowers,” another NYT bestseller I never got around to checking out until last week.
What a mesmerizing, beautifully written novel. The heroine, Victoria Jones, is a young woman who was raised in the Bay Area’s foster care system, moving from one group home to another with a very large chip on her shoulder. She can’t get close to anyone, can’t even stand anyone to touch her. Her last foster mother, however, loves her and wants to officially adopt her, but has a troubled life herself. Theirs is an interesting, skillfully rendered relationship involving the growing, nurturing and understanding of the language of flowers.
What sort of language? Apparently, there are dictionaries that give emotional definitions to all the different species of flowers and plants: one means jealousy and another means betrayal; one means patience and another means adoration, etc. Elizabeth teaches Victoria this language, and it’s Victoria’s devotion to flowers and her creative understanding of them that brings her happiness.
Victoria is a heroine who breaks the reader’s heart over and over in the choices she makes. As she becomes an adult, she thrives in the floral business she establishes but is essentially homeless and friendless – and loveless. Then a man resurfaces from her past, changing everything. She becomes a mother and….Well, I’ll shut up now and stop giving away the story.
“The Language of Flowers” is a book that definitely stays with you after you’ve read the final page. I absolutely adored it.