The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
This has to be my favorite Book Group pick so far. What an amazing story. I loved so many things about it.
First, it is set in San Francisco. I love reading books that are set in places I lived in or visited. Second, the main character, Victoria Jones, is flawed but strong. Someone you want to cheer for then shake when not making the right choices. And third, Vanessa Diffenbaugh. She has written a novel that pulls at your heartstrings and draws you in with her characters, the story and the language of flowers.
Victoria has been a foster child all her life and at the age of 18 is released and left to try and make it on her own. Unable to find a job and pay for her room, Victoria finds solace in her plants and flowers that she grows in a hidden patch in a city park. Her love and understanding of flowers and their meanings- something she learned from Elizabeth, the closest she's ever had to a mother- is what saves her. It helps her get a job, find love and eventually find a family.
Jumping back and forth through Victoria's life, we get a glimpse of what makes her angry, scared to love and a "misanthrope". We learn how she lost her chance to be a part of a family with Elizabeth on her vineyard in Northern California and how she manages to find happiness and success. Her life is not easy and she has to fight her feelings to flee at all times. The choices she makes are not always the right ones or thought out, but they are what make her such a great character.
We are going to have so much to discuss with this book. I can't wait to get together with my friends in San Francisco and talk about this one.
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