Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Vanessa Diffenbaugh ~The Language of Flowers~

Read: On Kindle
Paid: £2.99
Reason I choose it: I can't remember when it was but some time this year I went to WHSmiths and this book caught my eye on the shelf, I picked it up to read the blurb and it sounded really good. I came home to check it out on Amazon and it cost £7.99, even with glowing reviews I wasn't going to pay that much. When it came down to £2.99 I decided to get it and see if the books lived up to the hype.

Summary
The story starts with 18 year old Victoria leaving a children's home and entering the home for young adults where she is left to find a job and to survive the big world without someone breathing down her neck... it then switches between chapters to Victoria's younger self and older one.

Victoria was offered for adoption when she was born so has no idea who her parents are or anything about her background at all. She has been moved around from foster home to foster home so never had the opportunity of being truly loved until she ended up in the care of Elizabeth. It takes Victoria a long time to trust and love Elizabeth but also for Elizabeth to crack the hostility of Victoria, there eventually comes a time when Elizabeth decides to adopt Victoria but things don't end up going to plan.....

Once she enters the young adults home, she keeps to herself potting plants that she's stolen from gardens or taken from public places and after two weeks taking the whole lot and planting them in a local park where she leaves the home to go and sleep. After a scare one night she decides its time to look for a job so that she can at least rent a place for a night, which is when she meets Renee who eventually takes her on to help her out in her florist and to provide her with a home. Things look up for Victoria until one day she meets someone from her past....

My Opinion
This is actually a really hard review to write as I'm not so sure how to word it. I really liked the book, it was fairly quick paced and I managed to read it within a day, I also found the whole concept of each flower having a meaning quite intriguing but mostly I wanted to know what happened between Victoria and Elizabeth for them not to end up being together....

The problem was I couldn't take to Victoria at all as a child or as an adult, ok I can understand she'd been taken from home to home and never had that security or love but its the way she shovelled food down like a complete animal. The description of it was quite sickening and in reality you'd imagine her savouring every last bit as if it was her last meal with the way her life was.... her constant going out of her way to upset, steal and bully other people.... She is also always running away from her responsibilities as she does really well with Renee, her own business which she just dumps on someone else and that leaves the ending so unsatisfactory in my eyes but worst of all is her relationship... considering what her own outcome was how can she do it to someone else....

Also what I didn't like about this book is that you only know about Victoria and Victoria's life, you never get in to the thoughts and feelings of the other people so you never get to know them at all even though I think they would have made a really interesting addition to the story.... Elizabeth's feelings, her sisters, Renee sounded fascinating as did her mum and sister....

This is also a very negative book, Victoria's experiences in homes were always awful (revolved around punishing children in homes rather then any love or care), her experience at schools, her trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes, once Victoria leaves the adult home and all her problems and then Elizabeth's own problems too. I don't think there was a truely happy moment in the book except those involving flowers for customers and even then Victoria was rude to them.

I think if you're going to read this book, save it for a holiday or travels as like I said it was quick to read and you won't notice its flaws all that much...

Rating
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4 comments:

  1. sounds good off to see if I can get it on my NOOK

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  2. If you do get it Becca you'll have to let me know what your opinion of it is and you might feel I'm completely wrong.

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  3. This is the story of Victoria, from her abandonment at birth, through childhood abuse, to her orphanage experiences and her difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships. Victoria's life is portrayed with a depth of a feeling that pulls the reader into the story and having a caring feeling about this strange and sometimes difficult young woman. Victoria is a difficult foster child, having been shuffled from place to place, only once finding the love and affection she needed and desired Yet, the voices of the past homes and her social worker cause her to act out in ways that are inappropriate and she loses that place where she found acceptance and security; and began to learn the language of flowers. The story moves back and forth in time and place within the span of her life which brings greater meaning to why she behaves the way she does with people she meets.

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