The Language of Flowers

Each month the Two Wells Book Club will bring you a review of the book that has been read by the group the previous month.

The book club meets once a month at the Two Wells Library.

We hope you enjoy the segment and are provided with an opportunity to engage with some books that you might never have though to pick up and read.

This month’s book is ‘The Language of Flowers’ by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

This debut novel from Vanessa Diffenbaugh has been well-received and is often found on the list of many book clubs.

The story directly reflects the title, the main character Victoria, comes to understand the symbolism of flowers and how they can be used to communicate a sentiment.

Victoria endured a miserable childhood in and out of foster homes, some cruel and some indifferent.

One foster parent is able to accept the damaged Victoria with patience, love and stability, and it is during this placement that she learns the intricate language of flowers; honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love.

Her ability to understand and communicate this language is what sustains her throughout her tumultuous life, a gift of living that her foster parent bestowed upon her, when all she knew was how to destroy her relationships and circumstance.

A sad story to digest, yet the hope interlaced throughout by the use of beautiful floral imagery, helps the reader to continue in the anticipation of a happy ending for Victoria. The author herself is a foster parent, and has drawn inspiration for this novel from her own experiences with foster children.

Diffenbaugh is also the founder of the Camellia Network, a nonprofit organisation intended to create a nationwide movement to support youth transitioning from foster care.

Book club members loved this story, however, the subject matter did, at times, become heavy and confronting.

The imagery of bouquets, flower markets and gardens, a refreshing source of light and optimism for the damaged main character. If you love your garden and all things flora, you may find yourself learning about the traditional meanings of different species of plants, as well as develop an appreciation of those who have lived a less fortunate life than your own.

Next month’s book is ‘All That I Am’, by Anna Funder.

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