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The language of flowers [book club kit]
2011
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Library Journal Review
An expert in the 19th-century language of flowers, Victoria is also a deeply troubled young woman who has just been emancipated from the foster care system. This first novel explores Victoria's struggle to make her way in the world and the mysteries of loving and of being loved. VERDICT While at times heartbreaking, the tone is ultimately hopeful, and readers will never look at a flower bouquet in the same way again. (LJ 6/1/11) © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Alternate chapters weave Victoria's past as a foster child and her present as a semi-homeless 18-year-old in Diffenbaugh's moving debut. Victoria finds her first job in a florist shop, putting to use the language of flowers she first learned from her only real family, the foster mother she lost 10 years earlier. (Aug.) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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