Review: The Language of Flowers

Why I picked it: After reading so many wonderful reviews, I just had to read it. 

Have you watched the book trailer for this novel? I watched it before reading the book, which made me want to read it even more! What is it like to try to love, if you've never been loved yourself? This is the question the author tries to answer.

Synopsis: The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.

Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what’s been missing in her life, and when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

Type: Fiction

Quick Take: I have read so many great review for this book... I enjoyed it but it did have it's slow moments. I listened to this one and am left wondering if I would have the same reaction if I read it.

That said, it's a lovely story that leaves the reader both comforted and restless at the conclusion of the book.  It wraps up neatly at the end, something I wish didn't happen even though Victoria deserves this ending.

I thought it might be fun to answer a few of the discussion questions from the back of the book, if you have read this one... feel free to share your opinions.  I didn't spoil anything with my answers (if you haven't read it yet).

Three discussion questions from the back of the book:

What potential do Elizabeth, Renata, and Grant see in Victoria that she has a hard time seeing in herself? Victoria is extremely hard on herself, reading this book I often felt she didn't feel she deserved to be loved or part of a family.  The walls were up.
 
At one point her social worker has Victoria move into an apartment, with rules and a timeline to accomplish a few things.  Victoria struggles in this situation.  It was an emotional part of the story.
 
Life begins to have a purpose when Renata asks for help at the flower market. This gives Victoria an opportunity to make a little money... and be surrounded by a world of flowers which is comforting to her.
 
Elizabeth, Renata and Grant see a broken person who needs to be loved and is gifted with flowers. Seeing how she cares for them tells the true story.  She is a woman capable of love and generosity.
 
One of the major themes in The Language of Flowers is forgiveness and second chances – do you think Victoria deserves one after the things she did (both as a child and as an adult)? Almost everyone deserves a second chance, if they own up to mistakes and acknowledge/ask for forgiveness. Easier said than done, right?
 
Victoria is broken but on her way to becoming a strong woman.  I wonder what her life is like ten years in the future.
 
At the end of the novel, Victoria learns that moss grows without roots. What does this mean, and why is it such a revelation for her? This metaphor is important.  Victoria may not have a conventional family but she has a network of people who want to love her, support her and be with her.  Her revelation... once she realizes she is loved and decides to be loved, she finds peace in knowing that she has a family. 
 
Family are the people who actively participate in your life, support you, are there for you in good times and bad times.  Sharing a blood line isn't the only factor and sometimes this isn't even relevant.
 
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Library (audio)

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