Book Notes: Language of Flowers

language of flowers bookBy Teresa Woodard

Step inside the Victorian language of flowers in this beautiful debut novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  Here, we meet 18-year-old Victoria Jones on her first day of emancipation from the foster-care system.  In her first job at a florist’s shop, she discovers her gift of flower arranging and uses it to help change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her troubled past.  Drawing on the Victorian language of flowers that she learned as a young girl from her prospective adoptive mother, she tucks messages inside her bouquets and in her exchanges with a secret admirer who shares her passion for flowers.

She eventually creates her own dictionary of flower photos and interpretations of the Victorian definitions, including several of those below.

  • Aster – patience
  • Forsythia – anticipation
  • Jonquil – desire
  • Lavendar – mistrust
  • Marigold – grief
  • Olive – peace
  • Rose, red – love
  • Rose, yellow – infidelity
  • Rose, white – a heart unfamiliar with love
  • Rosemary – remembrance (see Debra Knapke’s post)
  • Stephanotis – happiness in marriage
  • Sunflower – false riches
  • Thistle – misanthropy (The flower Victoria chooses to describe herself.)
  • Tulip – declaration of love

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