Friday, 12 May 2017

"The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

   This novel begins with Victoria Jones waking up on her eighteenth birthday in a group home.  Well, perhaps it was her birthday.  Since her birth date, location, and even her parents were unknown, the courts just picked a possible date for her birth.
  Victoria was an angry girl with a great knowledge of flowers- scientific descriptions and meanings.  It was her only connection with the world.

The language of flowers - every flower sends a message: dahlias for dignity; marigold for grief; dried basil- hate; periwinkle- tender recollections; mistletoe- I surmount all obstacles.

      The use of flowers for communication is creative and interesting.    This theme wove beautifully through the entire book. Victoria excelled at creating a floral bouquet for every situation, using just the right flowers to convey a sentiment.
"It wasn't as if the flowers themselves held within them the ability to bring an abstract definition into physical reality.  Instead, it seemed that Earl, then Bethany, walked home with a bouquet of flowers expecting change, and the very belief in the possibility instigated a transformation."
  I have very mixed feelings about this book because it it written in very short chapters that alternated between Victoria at age 18 and Victoria at age 9.  Once again, I barely got involved in one storyline and it switched.  
  There was something about the characters that drew me back to the book, but I wasn't really satisfied with the novel as a whole.

  This structure seems to be very popular.  The last book in my blog used the same structure.  It was a first novel for both of the authors. It seems like a very difficult challenge when an author is just starting out.  But many readers seem to enjoy this 'disruptive' style.  To me, it is just too 'disruptive'.


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