Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pump Up Your Book tour: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

From the book jacket:

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expression: honeysuckle for devotion, aster for patience, 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 that she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them.

About the author:

Vanessa Diffenbaugh was born in San Francisco and raised in Chico, Calif. 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 and live in Cambridge, Mass.

Diffenbaugh is also the founder of the Camellia Network. The mission of the Camellia Network is to create a nationwide movement to support youth transitioning from foster care. In The Language of Flowers, Camellia [kuh-meel-yuh] means “My Destiny is in Your Hands.” The network’s name emphasizes the belief in the interconnectedness of humanity: each gift a young person receives will be accompanied by a camellia, a reminder that the destiny of our nation lies in the hands of our youngest citizens. For more information, visit

Just my opinion:

This book is absolutely fascinating. A bit poetic and dark, it mimics the desperation that can come from a life of being unloved and uncared for.

The main character has never had anything in her life to make her feel worthwhile, other than her love of flowers and the meanings one of her foster mothers taught her. Now, too old for the foster care system, she turns to those flowers to help her survive from day to day. However, she soon learns the lessons she was taught regarding what each flower stands for were all wrong and she sets out to find the true meanings.

With the help of a young man from her past, she also attempts to find herself.

The Language of Flowers is the first book by this author and it’s hitting the Internet by storm. Exceptionally well-written, it’s a book that should definitely be shared with others. Complex and romantic, it’s sure to be on the list of this year’s best reads.

For more information about this blog tour, visit the Pump Up Your Book website.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Thank you for the wonderful review of Vanessa's book. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I really wanted to read this one too, but couldn't fit it into my schedule.

Readers can find a video with Vanessa at I hope they get a chance to check this one out.

Thanks again.