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Summary

The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it has been more useful in communicating feelings like 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, Victoria has nowhere to go, and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. When her talent is discovered by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But it takes meeting a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realise what's been missing in her own life, and as she starts to fall for him, she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, and decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness. The Language of Flowers is a heartbreaking and redemptive novel about the meaning of flowers, the meaning of family, and the meaning of love.

©2011 Vanessa Diffenbaugh (P)2012 Random House US

Critic reviews

"A moving and beautifully written portrayal of the frailty - and the hardiness - of the human spirit." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"It has the right ingredients – a quirky plot device (the Victorian notion that flowers represent emotions), troubled heroine, hidden back-story, childhood trauma. It is entertaining, and, at times, quite addictive. These are all marvellous things for a debut (or any novel for that matter)." ( Sunday Times Culture)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Emotional

I loved listening to this audio book that had me crying through the tough times with the main character. There were a few elements missing to a story like Victoria's that the book didn't touch upon but overall a great book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Heart-rendingly wonderful.

Loved it - I now have a new found love of flowers. Great narration, just the right tone of voice.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A beautiful story

A beautiful story very well narrated. If you have an interest in flowers then it's especially good!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A break from the norm.

This book was recommended to me as I asked for a change of genre. I really enjoyed the story and the ideas within the book. The protagonist is likeable and the story moves at a good pace. There is a very tense act within the story too which all adds up to a great listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful story, wonderfully read

I bought this after the recommendation of a friend and wasn't disappointed. The story is just beautiful, filled with poignant moments, sadness, self destruction and ultimately happiness and love. I thoroughly enjoyed the audibke recommendation to, which added real emotion to the story. Just lovely.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting theme but difficult to listen to

The book was quite an easy read but elements of the story were unconvincing - for example her spell in hospital where no-one questioned her circumstances. I did not warm to her character and so did not really care what happened to her, despite having sympathy for her awful past. The most annoying thing was the American accent of the reader who pronounced things differently to me (especially many of the flowers) which grated after a while.

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    3 out of 5 stars

part 3 of the story spoiled the book.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

part 3 of the book. the author needed a means to make Victoria give up her baby. the way it was done didn't ring true. it wasn't very pleasant listening to it.

Would you recommend The Language of Flowers to your friends? Why or why not?

no on the grounds of part 3. it was as if someone else had written that part.

What does Tara Sands bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

the book is told in the first person, Victoria, and tara sands brings her to life as well as all the characters in the book.

Do you think The Language of Flowers needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

no.there is nowhere for it to go. the ending was the finish of the story.

Any additional comments?

the Victorian language of flowers played only a very small part of the book and gave the impression that the flowers held some sort of magical power through Victoria to change people's lives. the rest is a two time period book where Victoria's past is intermingled with her present.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful