The Language of Flowers - Vanessa Diffenbaugh

This was a great debut novel about connections, love and second chances.  Victoria Jones is a recently emancipated young woman who grew up in foster care system. She sees the world through hate and mistrust but finds that she has the gift to use the language of flowers to help others relationships grow.  When she meets someone from her happiest, and most painful part of life, she must face her past to determine her future.

 

This story was really good but parts of it really frustrated me.  I feel like the book was a little bit to long and dragging through the middle. Victoria really frustrated me through chunks of the book but I had to remind myself that she clearly has some mental health issues and was only 18. The story though and the way the mystery of her history unfolds was really interesting and beautifully done. I was really happy with the way the book ended I just wish it had been edited a little more so there wasn't so much drag in the middle. But flowers! I loved all the flowers, I listened to this at work (I work in a greenhouse) and it just made me happy to be hearing about all these flowers.

 

These are the things that specifically drove me nuts: Victoria is so incredibly selfish through most of the book and her choices rarely made sense. I never really hit a point where I could connect to her choices but I feel like this is a very personal issue that other people may not have so I'd still recommend it. But seriously the way she treats Renata with pregnancy and subsequent issues specifically bothered me. Renata's line "Do you really think you're the only human being alive who is unforgivably flawed? Who's been hurt almost to the point of breaking?" really sums up my feelings toward Victoria. I guess I was struggling with compassion for her. 

 

That being said I really did love that in the end she didn't just move in with Grant and Hazel and have a happily ever after but rather had a happily ever after that was more tempered and slow, having her own space in the water tower and slowly easing into the family connection that she missed for most of her life.  I just think that's more realistic and beautiful than an ending that was like "I love everyone and there will be no issues with me just diving into this life".

(show spoiler)