The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
This story went much deeper than I expected. I knew one of the main themes had to do with the Victorian tradition of communicating with flowers (eg. a red rose does indeed mean LOVE). However, that was literally all I knew when I picked up this book.
The Premise: The book begins by introducing us to a young woman. We learn that she is an orphan turning 18 and soon to be emancipated out of the social service system. She clearly has emotional issues and as we watch her slowly make her way into the world, we begin to learn pieces of her life and how she ended up still in the system at the age of 18.
As we get to know her, we learn of her knowledge of flowers, and the language they express. She meets a man who also speaks the language of flowers and we watch her navigate a personal relationship.
There were so many times in this book I wanted to shake her and tell her she was being an idiot, but she clearly has scars that run very deep. I struggled to put the book down, as I had to keep reading to find out what had happened to her years ago. I loved learning about the flowers; so much so I almost ordered another book on the actual meaning of flowers. Luckily, before I did that, I realized this book has a flower language glossary at the end!! Bonus!
With strong and unique characters, narration that alternates from current to past and the added bonus of learning about a topic I know very little about, this book was very enjoyable.
I encourage you to pick it up!
Michaelmas Daisy = Farewell!