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The Language of Flowers [Hardcover]

Vanessa Diffenbaugh
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (379 customer reviews)

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`This heart-rending debut novel (the subject of a nine-publisher bidding war) follows Victoria Jones, who is emancipated from the foster care system on her 19th birthday. Angry and untrusting, she finds the only way she can communicate her feelings is through the forgotten language of flowers, where, for example, honeysuckle signifies devotion or red roses mean true love. She lands a job at a florist's where she meets a vendor who could hold the key to overcoming the secrets of her past. The Language of Flowers delivers on suspense and emotion.'
--She magazine

`A unique and fascinating debut novel.' --Good Housekeeping

`(A) delightful and utterly absorbing novel. The plot unfolds like a whodunit and you wait with bated breath to discover Victoria's devastating secret.'

`From foster mother to publishing phenomenon, Vanessa Diffenbaugh is set to touch millions with her debut novel' --S Magazine, Sunday Express

`A well-crafted novel which I read almost at a sitting. The many themes of disassociation and communication, the nature of motherhood and of family, regret and redemption are interwoven in a rich tapestry... An arresting new talent.' --Daily Express

`An absorbing epic filled with romance, secrets and redemption' --Easy Living

`Diffenbaugh's debut is tough and tender, entwining loss and regret with second chances and happy outcomes' --Marie Claire

`Diffenbaugh's first novel is strong, and she has created a tenacious and likeable heroine.' --Psychologies

--Woman & Home

'Her narration and her story are absolutely compelling. The flowers and their connotations add a fresh twist to a classic tale of girl done good... Beautiful and absorbing' --Heat magazine

'A blooming good read' --The Sun's Fabulous Magazine

'It has the right ingredients - a quirky plot device (the Victorian notion that flowers represent emotions), troubled heroine, hidden back-story, childhood trauma. It is entertaining, and, at times, quite addictive. These are all marvellous things for a debut (or any novel for that matter).'
--Sunday Times Culture

'Diffenbaugh writes with a lovely sensitivity about ways of communication and how meaning is not always absolute. The Language of Flowers is a warm, satisfying and feel-good read.'
4 star review --Metro

'A moving and beautifully written portrayal of the frailty - and the hardiness - of the human spirit. --Sunday Telegraph

'Vanessa Diffenbaugh's debut novel is touted as this year's Chocolat. A sensory feast of flowers and their symbolic meaning, this tale - seen through the eyes of foster-care survivor Victoria - is uniquely compelling.' --ASOS magazine

'Vanessa Diffenbaugh's charming new novel follows 18-year-old Victoria Jones, just out of foster care with nowhere to go. Settling herself in a park, she begins planting a small garden, soon discovering a talent for helping people using flowers.'
Stella loves... pick in Stella --Sunday Telegraph

'This book is a must read. The premise is completely original, introducing you the lost art of the Victorian language of flowers. If our boyfriend gives us flowers with a bad meaning now... there'll be consequences...Victoria is a fascinating character - there is nothing sentimental and flowery about her. She maddeningly pushes away everyone in her life to the point you'll be ripping your hair out in despair. Despite her coldness and emotional instability Diffenbaugh makes her impossible not to like. Victoria's vulnerability will have you hoping that perhaps, like a new shoot trodden on time and time again, she will eventually break through the hard ground into the sunlight' --Sugarscape

'A completely captivating story' --Sainsbury's Magazine

'Diffenbaugh's writing is well-researched and compelling. By avoiding the temptation to sentimentalise Victoria's story, she creates an engaging read, which no doubt, in time, will be translated to the big screen' --Liverpool Daily Post

'Diffenbaugh proves to be an exciting new talent, one who writes with clarity and warmth and the fact that she fosters children herself is evident from her sensitive portrayal of the troubled Victoria.' --Sunday Express

'Mind bogglingly good. A mesmerising book that will haunt you, and change the way you view the world'
--Irish Examiner

About the Author

Vanessa Diffenbaugh was born in San Francisco and raised in Chico, California. After studying creative writing and education at Stanford, she went on to teach art and writing to youth in low-income communities. She and her husband PK have three children: Tre’von, 18, Chela, 4, and Miles, 3. Tre’von, a former foster child, is attending New York University on a Gates Millenium Scholarship. Vanessa and her family currently live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her husband is studying urban school reform at Harvard.
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