3/15/2012 – Today, I started this book, which I saw in Half-Price Books last Saturday but bought on the Kindle, being wary of the fact that I may not like it and, as a new release, it was only in hardback. So buying it on the Kindle alleviates that fear a bit.
Today is Victoria’s birthday. Today she turns 18. Today she ages out of the group home where she has been living. Victoria is an orphan. More importantly, Victoria loves flowers. Not just the flowers themselves. She loves their scientific names, their families, and their meanings as set down in the Victorian age. She has spent every spare moment of the last few years learning and memorizing how to recognize them and decipher the messages they send.
After a difficult car ride with her lifelong social worker, Victoria is dropped off at a transitional group home with orders from Meredith to “buy food and get a job”.
Victoria is a loner, a girl who hates to be touched, prefers a solitary life with her flowers rather than intermingling amongst people. But this is no way to survive. And then, one day, she passes a florist shop called Bloom, and that moment changes everything.
Stay tuned! ^_~
3/21/2012 – Yesterday, I proctored a test, and read 30% more of this book (51%-81%, roughly). Then, last night, I abandoned tv and computer and laid down with my Kindle and finished it. Then I dreamt about it all night long.
Victoria’s story is beautiful and painful and haunting, and I think it sticks with me because so many of us feel the exact same way. We do not have the same situations, no, but the fear and surety of failure, the memory of pains given and caused, all of us deal with that, feel that way at one time or another. Diffenbaugh draws a beautiful image of a young woman with a desperate need to love and be loved, weighed down by a past fraught with failure and fear of emotion, of care, of touch.
I was also entranced by the flowers. Victorian flower language is one of my favorite things to study and this book incorporates it, as well as other meanings, so beautiful that it kept me wrapped in its spell to the very end. I will admit, this is the fastest that I have read a book in MONTHS. And I am grateful to you, Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Thank you so very, very much for the work of your hands, heart, and mind.