Life Here

July 21, 2016 By Liz Wildberger

The Language of Flowers: A Perfect Summer Read

Looking for a good book with plenty of sunshine and flowers? The PVE Book Discussion Group recommends Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s novel, The Language of Flowers.

In our recent meeting, we explored how the meaning in a flower’s name is able to convey joy, happiness, sympathy and other emotions to the recipient.

Set in San Francisco, the book begins in Golden Gate Park, where 18-year-old Victoria Jones has decided to take up residence. A product of 32 foster homes, she has aged out of the system and has no family and no resources— except an uncanny knowledge of flowers and their victorian meanings.

She finds work in a florist’s shop and soon realizes she has a true gift in her approach to floral arranging and customer service. The book takes the reader to the vineyards of Napa and the flower farms that dot the nearby hillsides. We’re introduced to characters that are believable and worthy of our attention. There is glossary of of the many flowers mentioned in the novel as well.

Diffenbaugh weaves past and present in a moving and elegantly written debut novel that lovers of gardening and the written word will find much to relate to.


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