18-year-old Victoria Jones is an incredibly strong, yet stubborn and hurting young woman who just aged out of the foster care system. Bounced around for most of her life, Vanessa finds herself unable to trust anyone who crosses her path, no matter their good intentions, and almost finds solace in being homeless. She doesn't have to deal with people, makes her own decisions, and stays as far away from people as she can.
When her little bit of money runs out and Victoria manages to wrangle herself a job in a flower shop. Having always been fascinated with the "language of flowers," she spends her days making the perfect bouquets for her customers' personal situations. Still dealing with her past, Victoria is forced to come face-to-face with specific people and events she's wanted nothing more than to leave behind.
The descriptions in this book are top notch and I loved learning all about hidden meanings behind flowers, no matter how true or false they may be. It was fun! I'm slightly concerned that my wedding flowers were peonies and their meaning is ANGER of all things...but, I think Aaron and I are ok for now ;).
Victoria was a tough character to like, because of her abrasive personality (though that certainly wasn't her fault), but even if I couldn't love her, I understood her. The author has experience with the foster care system and it was apparent while I was reading it. She obviously knew how children who spent their lives in the "care" of multiple people could turn out and the issues they could experience. Victoria was haunting in the best possible way.
A fun index of flowers is included, so you can look up all of your favorite flowers and their meanings.
I read this with my book club and would highly recommend it for such a discussion. Lots of excellent elements for a good conversation.
The Language of Flowers
April 2012 (paperback edition)