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Words of a Bibliophile

"It's only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away." —Bee Gees

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers - Vanessa Diffenbaugh

I wanted to like this book. I really liked the idea of communicating through flowers. I thought this was going to be a quiet, melancholic story. Instead it was raw and painful and violent.

The main character, Victoria Jones, reminded me a bit of Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books. But while I pitied Lisbeth and was mildly curious about her, I pitied Victoria but did not like her.


For someone who'd spent most of her life moving from one foster home to another, one group home to another, who'd suffered from years of neglect, she seemed used to being cared for and having other people solve problems for her. Granted, I've always had a family and have never been neglected so I probably don't understand her thought process, but her behavior throughout the novel just irked me. She claimed she was pushing away people who cared for her because she would end up hurting them and they didn't deserve that, but by doing so she was sending the opposite message: that those people did not deserve her affection and she was not going to make the effort to care because they were not worth it.

The last straw for me was when she gave up her newborn daughter because it was too difficult for her to keep the baby. Victoria blamed herself again, justifying her decision by saying she would only hurt the baby and that she was better off without her. Not once did Victoria think that she was doing the exact same thing her unknown biological mother did to her after she was born, condemning her to her current misery. I couldn't fathom how she could do that.

But despite everything I kept reading because I wanted to know how it ended. Despite everything I did want a happy ending, although Victoria probably didn't deserve it.

(show spoiler)


2.5 stars thanks to the writing and the wonderful little flower dictionary at the end of the book. No thanks to Victoria.