By Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Ballantine Books, $25.00, 322 pages

In The Language of Flowers Deffenbaugh weaves a sumptuous tale of Victoria, an 18 year old foster child that grew up in 32 different homes.  Upon her emancipation, she lives in a city park where she grows a luxurious garden.  Renata, a flower store owner, hires Victoria to work “under the table”.  At this job, Victoria is able to create striking flower arrangements that secretly address the customer’s needs through the meaning behind each flower.  At the flower market, Victoria meets a mysterious flower-seller that knows the meaning of flowers, too, and so begins a secret language back and forth between them. Victoria wrestles with her past as she tries to move forward with her life. This glorious debut novel is like no other I have ever read.  It engaged my interest immediately and thoroughly.  I couldn’t put this book down, until the past secret that Victoria tries to avoid is divulged in this exquisite novel.

Reviewed by Seniye Groff