The Language of Flowers,Vanessa Diffenbaugh


„There was a softness of the silk and the roughness of wool in her. And a lot of errant blues that resemble the wild thistles”.

She’s wild. She’s passionate. She’s distrustful. Some call her Victoria, but it is rare to get the chance to keep her name. Flowers. This is all that is left of her. Victoria Jones is an orphan. An awful life in immoral places and flophouses taught her to be cautious and vigilant. Only the company of flowers cheers her up. She avoids words and deliberations, nonetheless, she leaves herbs as messages. The bouquet of pot marigold – regret. A Cirsium – misanthropy. A pinch of dried basil – hatred. However, her language is unknown to other people and flowery letters are left without any reply. Everything changes when Victoria is eighteen and leaves the orphanage. Free from any constraints and orders, she can experience freedom for the first time in her life. She desires to become a florist. Her dream starts to be true when she gets a job at the florists. Despite her inborn hatred towards people, she begins to create marvelous and exceptional bouquets with symbolic meanings that change her clients for the better. She stays the same – cold and harsh – until she meets a mysterious stranger from whom she receives a flowery message.

The Language of Flowers is a fascinating book. The descriptions of grapevines and balmy scents allow the reader to drift into the realm where the eternal laws of nature prevail. Vanessa Diffenbaugh puts a lot of effort into the creation of the flower dictionary which we can read at the end of the book. Do you want to thank somebody for lovely memories? Choose a dwarf periwinkle. Or maybe you want to express your deep fascination with somebody? Perhaps a jasmine nightshade is a good idea. After finishing the book, the flowers become the sheer abundance of messages and because of them, we can express ourselves without using any words.

Author: Katarzyna Anita Piotrowska
Translation: Dorota Osińska