My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.
Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what’s been missing in her life, and when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness
"You should see the way she smiles when I rattle off the names of the orchids in the greenhouse: oncidium, dendrobium, bulbophyllum, and epidendrum, tickling her face with each blossom. I would'nt be surprised if 'Orchidaceae' was her first word."
- The Language of Flowers, p. 291
Orkid. Perhaps the purpose of buying this book was to own something which was closer to my heart. And indeed, it did. The book mentioned orchid several times. Well, I expected that, didn't I? The title of the book should have made me alarmed.
To be fair, the book was fantastic to me in a sense that besides loving books, I was also a flower freak. So, when you combined those 2 characters of mine at one time, you would definitely mark this book as my perfect birthday gift.
But then again, to those who just loved books and not flowers, well, you might find it a bit difficult to understand. Unless, you're romantic at heart or you're a green person - this book might tire those who despised flowers or had a perception that flowers meant to be for girly girls.
Strangely, we have always ignored the part that books; despite the magical touch of it, must be logical in certain ways. When I first read The Language of Flowers, I thought that things were too real and too painful; I nearly passed it out. I didn't.
As I kept reading, I realised that this was one of the books I wanted. The magical stories of the flowers were blended with the hard planes of life. Even though some part of the world might be beautiful, there might be ugly places as well. And...the main characters were not physically described! I didn't have to lay back on the cushions and started to compare the main character with Keanue Reeves or Aaron Aziz!
So, the beautiful things in the book were mainly because of the flowers; as it explained on the title. You hate flowers, don't buy the book. But if you're just like me - who read things and got the mini flaws out of simple elaboration in every book that I've read, then let's enjoy reading this book. You might laugh at how simple things which have been written in the 90s romance books were no longer written on 2011 books.
The language was simple and the research was done in good ways. To be objective, I could not ask for more. Things made sense in the book and I loved it. The book might be expensive and difficult to get but it was worth finding.
Except...well, I like the Pan McMillan editions more than Random House. It connected to the stories and everytime I looked at the cover, it would remind me of the story inside.
Hey, who said about not judging a book by its cover?