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review 2017-05-20 02:14
Book Review: The Language of Flowers
The Language of Flowers - Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Book: The Language of Flowers


Author: Vanessa Diffenbaugh


Genre: Fiction/Family/Meaning of Love


Summary: Acacia for secret love, daffodil for new beginnings, wisteria for welcome, and camellia for my destiny is in your hands. In Victorian times, the language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions. But for Victoria Jones, it's been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what's been missing in her life. And when she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second change at happiness. - Ballatine Books, 2011.


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review 2015-11-12 00:00
The Language of Flowers
The Language of Flowers - Vanessa Diffenbaugh Earlier in the year, I read ‘The Little Paris Bookshop’ (Nina George) in which a bookseller dispenses books from his literary apothecary to treat each reader’s malady and/or melancholy – a book which I enjoyed. In ‘The Language of Flowers’, flora is used as the tool of communication. Each flower and plant is a symbol of something; sometimes, even the color gives a different meaning. I am fascinated by all things code and symbols, and I liked how just the sending of flowers alone conveyed messages (granted, of course, the recipients knew what they stood for). Even if they didn’t, the ‘power’ message contained in the giving or presentation of those flowers alone was enough to change things around, and rectify a situation – so likewise, I enjoyed this book. [This is akin to the ability attributed to spices in ‘The Mistress of Spices’ (Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni)] In addition, there is a flower dictionary at the end of the book, compiled and condensed by the author in her research of other such old/archaic dictionaries.
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review 2015-10-22 21:58
We Never Asked For Wings
We Never Asked for Wings: A Novel - Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The world is an enormous place with big responsibilities as you get older. These obligations get immense when you bring two children into the world and for Letty, she would rather not have to deal with these obligations or make choices for its too complicated. She’s been sliding by for years, relying on her parents to raise her children but when they abruptly return to Mexico, Letty must now learn to be a parent. No longer able to rely on her parents, Letty must learn to navigate on her own and make decisions that will affect her children’s future. Like all parents, Letty wants the best for her children but the means in which she tries to obtain them is not honest. Children are like sponges and Letty’s children are no different, for her actions result in her children following in her footsteps. Her children mean no harm; they just want what is best just like their mother. Letty’s older son Alex is almost 15 and although he thinks he knows the identity of his father, Letty has not been honest with him about it. As the two of them share what they know, Alex learns the identity of his father and I loved how Wes played a role in the novel. He didn’t dominate the male status but he shares it with Rick as Letty again has to deal with choices in her life, choices she needed to make on her own. There were a few stories within the novel, these accounts run alongside each other throughout the novel which allows you to see the whole picture, how everyone is connected.

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quote 2015-10-21 00:34
"What do you have that no one else has?"

She was so small that even when she sat on his lap he had to bend down to look her in the eyes. "You?" He asked hopefully.
We Never Asked for Wings: A Novel - Vanessa Diffenbaugh

We Never Asked For Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

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review 2015-09-04 22:41
Review: We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
We Never Asked for Wings: A Novel - Vanessa Diffenbaugh

I received this copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review.


My Thoughts:


I was recommended this book by a friend who knew how much I loved The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s debut novel, and received We Never Asked for Wings from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Similar to The Language of Flowers, We Never Asked for Wings is widely about family and personal growth, and it was wonderful to watch the main character, Letty, as she learned about her own children after being abandoned by their former caretaker. It was sweet and refreshing to see her slowly change from a selfish, childish, dependent individual into a caring and (mostly) responsible mother, and I think the change was done excellently. Know how in some books there’s a chapter midway through talking about all of the changes that’ve happened and a person’s new schedule? It’s hard to explain but it happens a lot. Not in this book, though: the change in Letty’s character is so gradual and realistic that by the end she is a completely different person, and all without the middle montage.

The children in the book were wonderful, too. Smart and completely realistic- not always knowing what they needed but loving Letty even though they knew it wasn’t her. I also liked the way Letty’s mother was characterized. She was controlling and caring all mixed in one, making Letty’s thoughts on her as complicated as a real daughter’s thoughts would be.

Overall, this book is just completely real. We Never Asked for Wings is a story about a realistic family and a woman’s change into a mother after years of doing her own thing. It was a sweet and refreshing read, good for someone angry at their parents or missing home.

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