“The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

I’ve always been intruiged by the idea of secret codes.  Do you remember those ink pens that wrote in invisible ink and used a highlighter to reveal the words?  I loved those pens when I was a kid.  Also, my sister’s and I have a whole language that nobody else can speak called “double talk.” It comes in handy when we travel.

I was so intruiged to learn that there is a whole language of flowers just waiting to be revealed.

I think most people know a red Rose means “love” but did you know that a yellow Rose means “infidelity?”  And that a pink Rose means “grace?”  Yes, you had better be careful when picking out those Valentine’s bouquets!

The flower language was intruiging and couple that with a book that was well written and you have a book ranking of a 5 from me! Back to the book….

“The Language of Flowers” is the debut novel of Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It is written in the first person of Victoria Jones, a troubled young woman who has survived 18 years in foster homes only to finally find herself free of the system but homeless.

As a child, we learn that Victoria came very close to being adopted by Elizabeth, the woman who taught her the language of flowers.  I won’t spoil the mystery or the fantastic ending, but suffice it to say that Elizabeth is equally troubled by her own family sorrows.

Throughout the novel we cheer for Victoria who uses her gift with flowers to become successful in the world.  The author also uses this secret language of flowers for the main characters to speak to each other. For example:  at one point Victoria finds herself falling in love and she loses control of her carefully controlled world.  Of course, there is a reason for it, she is carrying a flower pot full of Jonquil (desire).

This book is very well written with an interesting plot and unique use of flowers.  There is also a comprehensive list of flowers and their meanings at the end.

Since I am planning a new garden at the cabin I definitely plan on taking this book with me so I can plant a garden with a secret code.  For example, I don’t really like Marigolds anyway and now I won’t plant a single one since they mean “grief.”  And who would want to plant a scarlet Geranium since they mean “stupidity?”

I plan on filling my garden with Celandine (joys to come),  white Clover (think of me), and Freesia (lasting friendship).  Now I just need to find out what they look like.  I am definitely on a mission.

I like this language of flowers.  I think I am hooked.  Here’s to Cosmos….and yes, I mean the flower and not the drink!



About Anne Loughrey

I am an avid member of several book clubs and a prolific keeper of my books. I love to discuss books and hear what others think of books I have read.
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