The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

In Victorian times, plants and flowers held symbolic meaning: you might give your love interest a bouquet of tulips (declaration of love), your enemy one of tansy (I declare war against you).  In Diffenbaugh’s novel, eighteen-year-old Victoria, alone and homeless, has just aged out of the foster care system.  Victoria’s knowledge of the sentiments conveyed by flowers proves to be her salvation and leads to employment with a florist.  Gruff, defensive Victoria cautiously begins to bloom in her new life, until a life-altering event derails her delicate progress.  In alternating chapters, Diffenbaugh weaves Victoria’s past and present until the two meet in a tender conclusion.

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