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The Language of Flowers: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Narrated By: Tara Sands

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: August 2011

Duration: 11 hours 0 minutes

Summary:

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.

Praise for The Language of Flowers

'Instantly enchanting . . . [Diffenbaugh] is the best new writer of the year.'—Elle

“I would like to hand Vanessa Diffenbaugh a bouquet of bouvardia (enthusiasm), gladiolus (you pierce my heart) and lisianthus (appreciation).  In this original and brilliant first novel, Diffenbaugh has united her fascination with the language of flowers—a long-forgotten and mysterious way of communication—with her firsthand knowledge of the travails of the foster-care system. . . . This novel is both enchanting and cruel, full of beauty and anger. Diffenbaugh is a talented writer and a mesmerizing storyteller.  She includes a flower dictionary in case we want to use the language ourselves.  And there is one more sprig I should add to her bouquet: a single pink carnation (I will never forget you).”—Washington Post

'A fascinating debut . . . Diffenbaugh clearly knows both the human heart and her plants, and she keeps us rooting for the damaged Victoria.'—O Magazine

'Diffenbaugh effortlessly spins this enchanting tale, making even her prickly protagonist impossible not to love.'—Entertainment Weekly

Genres:

  • Yvonne McKenna

    Great listening experience. Loved the flowers telling a story of love and devotion

  • shannon novito

    This was a very good book, it really gave a good insight to the tragedies that many children face. Abandonment, loneliness and lack of self-worth. I think it teaches compassion.

  • mary leung

    Great book... Gave me insight into the plight of foster children... Easy read.... Well written

  • Jamie Simmons

    I loved this story so much and didn't want it to end. It really made me think a lot about what happens to our foster children when they turn 18 and never get adopted. It made me think about the walls that I build around myself to protect myself from plain, and how those walls keep me isolated in my life. I don't know anything about flowers, but I loved the way the flowers were used as metaphors throughout the entire book. This is a beautiful story about life, love, family, motherhood, and in the end it was very uplifting. The narrator's voice was pretty good. She did a good job changing her voice when going from the present day adult to the childhood flashbacks every other chapter.

  • Lisa Valerio

    I enjoyed the book, not at all what I thought it would be. The author pulled me into the story and I couldn't stop listening. The narrator's voices for the various characters in the book were OK.

  • Anonymous

    This is a good story made even better if you love flowers!