Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Language of Flowers

Every so often I do a search on my library's website for new books. If the title or brief description interests me, I'll request it to be sent to the library closest to me and I'll pick it up when it's ready. I really love the way our library system works.

That's how I found The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I really had no idea what it was going to be like, but it captured my attention right away. It's a story of a little girl in the foster care program who grows up in the system, going in and out of homes, finding herself emancipated at the age of 18 and on her own. She's never held a job so she ends up living on the streets pretty quickly.

So, where do the flowers come in? That's really the interesting part of the story. I had no idea every flower had a meaning behind it. A message. The foster girl ends up living with a woman for a year who loves flowers and gardening. She knows every meaning of every flower and over the course of the year, teaches that knowledge to the little girl. The girl clings to this knowledge and from then on, uses flowers to communicate her true feelings.

Once the girl is out on her own, she meets a man who communicates the same way! And then even more drama unfolds.

I don't want to give much more of the story away, it was a really quick read and an interesting story. It also took place in San Francisco so that may have been another aspect that kept me reading. I also liked the format of the novel; the chapters alternated between telling the past and the present in a way that revealed hints of the future and a better understanding of the characters.

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