LOFDispassion?  Really?  I thought hydrangeas were so romantic, but apparently not, according to the victorian language of flowers.  This new knowledge about the meaning of my nuptial blooms was about the only thing I didn’t like about this fabulous debut novel.  Its narrator, Victoria, is a young victim of the foster care system who finds solace, second chances and even love in what she’s learned of the language of flowers.  A heartwarming read.  And you’ll never look at flowers the same way again!

The Language of Flowers  is one of my favorite books of the season, and I’m certainly not the only one who loved it.  Check out the early praise below. And I hope I can add your review to the list.  Just leave a comment sharing your wedding flower (or the flower you’d choose when you do marry) and those with the most inappropriate meanings (as judged by me) will get a free ARE of the book as a consolation prize.  Please be truthful, no fair googling.  Honor system here!

ADVANCE PRAISE for The Language of Flowers:
“Fans of Janet Fitch’s White Oleander will enjoy this solid and well-written debut, which is also certain to be a hit with book clubs.” Library Journal (starred review)

“Enchanting, ennobling, and powerfully engaging, Diffenbaugh’s artfully accomplished debut novel lends poignant testimony to the multitude of mysteries held in the human heart.” Booklist (starred review)

“As a foster care survivor, I feel a kinship with Victoria Jones as she battles loss and risk and her own thorny demons to find redemption. Vanessa Diffenbaugh has given us a deeply human character to root for, and a heart-wrenching story with insight and compassion to spare.”  — Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

“The Language of Flowers is a primer for the language of love. Vanessa Diffenbaugh deftly gathers themes of maternal love, forgiveness and redemption in an unforgettable literary bouquet. Book clubs will swoon!”
— Adriana Trigiani, author of Very Valentine and Don’t Sing at the Table

“The Language of Flowers gives us new definitions of human compassion in all its forms. Bouquets of laurel and trumpet vine await this beautifully arranged story!”  — Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

“A deftly powerful story of finding your way home, even after you’ve burned every bridge behind you. The Language of Flowers took my heart apart, chapter by chapter, then reassembled the broken pieces in better working condition—I loved this book.”  — Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

My wedding bouquet meant what??

Category: Staff Picks


  • It probably wouldn’t work well in a bouquet, but I really enjoy our Monkshood. And while I haven’t googled it, I do know that another name for it is Wolfsbane (mentioned in Harry Potter’s first Potions class). For a children’s series that talks of the language of flowers, try the Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer.

  • Any book described as a “literary bouquet” has to be good!!!

    I was boring and chose yellow roses as my bridal flower since I am a Texas girl.


  • I put together my own wedding bouquet made out of silk flowers. I used peach & white roses.

    I need to add this book to my “To Read” list.

  • we wanted to go with a cheaper but pretty flower so we used carnations, mostly white but also blue and yellow ones too!

  • For “most inappropriate wedding flower” I’m going to have to go with Amy since yellow roses mean infidelity! For being good sports though, I’ll send you all an ARE. Send your snail mail address to library@randomhouse.com and we’ll send one out to you!

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