18-year-old Victoria Jones is an incredibly strong yet stubborn young woman who just aged out of the foster care system. Bounced around for most of her life, Vanessa finds herself unable to trust anyone who crosses her path, no matter their good intentions, and almost finds solace in being homeless. She is able to make her own decisions, and doesn’t have to deal with people, staying as far away from people as she can.
When her little bit of money runs out, Victoria manages to wrangle herself a job in a flower shop. Because she has always been fascinated with the “language of flowers,” she spends her days making the perfect bouquets for her customers’ personal situations. Still dealing with her past, Victoria is forced to come face-to-face with specific people and events she’s wanted nothing more than to leave behind.
The descriptions in this book are top notch and learning all about hidden meanings behind flowers, no matter how true or false they may be, was fun. The author has experience with the foster care system and it was apparent. She obviously knows how children who spend their lives in the “care” of multiple people might turn out and the issues they might experience. Victoria was haunting in the best possible way and her character, plus the intriguing plot, make for a great book club discussion.
Some heavy subject matter and situations make this most appropriate for grown-ups, but a great read for teens that has definite similarities with this plot regarding the language of flowers is Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White, one of our local authors!
A fun index of flowers is included, so you can look up all of your favorite flowers and their meanings. Very cool!
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh; $15.00; Ballantine Books