23 April 2012

The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers is not something I would have chosen for myself. It is for the most part sad, slow moving, and quite frankly I spent a good portion of the story wishing I could shake some sense into Victoria. But then I had an ah-ha moment and from that point forward I began to sympathize with her. My fascination and annoyance turned into hope. You see, up until that point, I had been listening to this story like one might listen to a tragic retelling of a train wreck. I shook my head a lot and marveled at the deep sadness and anger. But after what the story reveals near the end of part two, I found myself on baited breath for Victoria and all those around her that she had harmed. I found myself wishing desperately for peace, forgiveness, redemption, and perhaps even joy. The ending doesn't disappoint. Some reviewers say she walks away from what had previously mattered so much to her and that the ending was too neat. I respectfully disagree. I believe Victoria merely takes a break to concentrate on what is really important and the ending promises that while the road won't be easy, it will get easier with time and perseverance. So while I only listened to The Language of Flowers for a book club meeting I missed, it did make an impression on me, I enjoyed it, and I do look forward to seeing the film.

The Language of Flowers was written by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, narrated by Tara Sands, and consists of 9 discs (10 hours and 50 minutes). Narrator Tara Sands does an excellent job as distant icy Victoria. She even does a good tone for Grant (the only male character) and Renata (her employer, a Russian immigrant). This was my first time listening to Tara and I will seek her out again. 

82 comments :

  1. I read this book a while ago and I really liked it. There were times when I wanted to shake some sense into Victoria too!

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    1. LOL
      Oh thank goodness!
      I was beginning to worry that it was just me.
      ;)

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  2. The covers I was drawn to right away were the first and third ones. But I do like them all.

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    1. The sweet floral ones. Me too! Before I read it, the first was my favorite. It still kind of is actually. It's very representative of innocence.

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  3. I read this book in print and adored it! It did leave me a little melancholy at times but it was so worth it.

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  4. I am intrigued by this read. Although I really don't like sad reads, I've been reading a lot of them lately! I had no idea it was going to be made into a movie. I'll be adding this to my TBR list. Thanks for the great review!

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    1. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones. Those hormones do crazy things to a gal. *wink wink* Try it! You might dig it.

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  5. Ive been wanting to read this one....but a three does not make me excited....hmmmmm. Im listening to a Grown up kinda Pretty right now...:)

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    1. 1. Oh darling I have heard great things about it so please don't let my 3 deter you. ;)
      2. YAY! Grown Up Kind of Pretty! How's it going? Are you liking it so far?

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    2. Im loving it so far....I just got past the part were Bit is talking about how she gave birth to Liza.....I love the authors voice too...;)

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    3. I love Big! She is the best. She is so strong. I loved the parts were she reflected on having Liza and what she was like as a girl. So strong.

      :)

      JJ rocks! As soon as my heart is up to it, I'm SO grabbing another of her audios.

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  6. I still haven't read this yet but I am considering suggesting it to my book group for a future discussion. I don't know if I'll like it but it does sound like a good book to discuss. Thanks for your review!

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    1. O it would be a good for a book group! I was soo bummed that Mr. Whimsy had to work on the day of my book club (i.e. no one to stay with the baby). So yah I definitely recommend it!

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  7. I'm a bit on the fence with this one, so I won't go out of my way to read it. But if it crosses my path...
    Excellent review, especially the bit about the turning point. I enjoy characters that get you to think twice about them.

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    1. Good way to look at it.
      And thank you darling.
      Victoria definitely made me a feel a range of emotions.

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  8. Moss in a bridal bouquet? That's something I'd like to see!

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    1. Oh sorry, not in a bridal bouquet.
      But in the story we learn that moss means maternal love.
      There is a beautiful scene with it.
      Now I will always think of that meaning when I see moss.

      Also, bridal bouquets, and the flowers that go into them, are part of the story and I swear I will never look at a bouquet again without wondering the hidden meanings those flowers can hold.

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  9. Love love love your thoughts about this one!

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  10. I read this one for my book club too:) There were mixed reviews there...not everyone loved it as I did. And I can't agree with your review more. I loved her growth as a person, the underlying hope that forgiveness and redemption are possible and how the flowers and their stories were woven in!

    I'll definitely be thinking of those when choosing flowers for my wedding!

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    1. Yes! That despite everything, hope and happiness were still possible.

      :)

      OMG yes! I ran to the internet to look up the flowers I used in my summer wedding. One was bad (snapdragons = presumption) and one was good (birds of paradise = magnificence). I am definitely having baby's breath (ever lasting love) when I renew my vows.

      Do you have a date yet?

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    2. We do...Sept. 30th. But we've not done any planning yet...we are so bad! We've only just started sapling at a few caterers! *Gulp*

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    3. Oooooooooooo what a perfect time.
      On the cusp of fall!
      I love it.

      No planning yet?
      Yowzers!
      Best of luck and godspeed darling!

      Don't worry.
      Being no fuss and easy going will take you a long way.

      Do you think you'll share some pics?
      I would love to see what you end up doing for decor and such!

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  11. I can't wait to read this one. I'll keep in mind that it starts off very sad and slow moving. Great review! I'm hoping to get to this one soon.

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  12. Oddly enough, I didn't connect the paperback (just saw in store yesterday) to it's hardback counterpart as they are SO different. From the sound of the story, the grey factor really fits best, though I do find the US pb more appealing visually. Guess it just goes to show why we shouldn't judge a book by its cover...great post Juju!

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  13. I'm reading this one for a virtual book tour and although it has not arrived yet I am looking forward to reading it....when i first started reading your review though, I thought 'crap! I am so not going to enjoy this book!' But the further into the review I realized that hopefully it will have a redeeming quality. I'm still looking forward to reading it and will check audible for that narrator's reads...love me a great narrator!

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    1. It does get better.
      Hang in there!
      I can't wait to hear your thoughts. :)

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  14. I've wanted to read this one for so long! Maybe I'll have to try it as an audio instead of reading it. :)

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  15. sounds like a good one, thanks for the recommendation.

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  16. Ooo, I love all the different covers! Thanks for including them. I'm glad you enjoyed the book, I'm really looking forward to reading it. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  17. I have not heard of this one before but its nice to see that you liked it. All the covers look great and I also really like the cover of the girl holding up a picture of a flower.

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  18. I love those moments when reading when a book goes from being slow and not-altogether fascinating to one that suddenly captures my interest:) So glad this one finally piqued your curiosity and had you intrigued!

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    1. Yes! That moment when you get it and you can't let go. :)

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  19. I haven't heard anything about this title, but your 180 degree turnaround makes me wonder about it...and what is so special. Nice review!

    I like the black and red cover with the silhouette best - I'm a sucker for illustration and retro-looking and cool fonts.

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    1. Thanks :)

      You know, your comments on the black and white cover made me take a double take. :) It is rather lovely.

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  20. I haven't really heard much about this one but it doesn't seem like something I would pick up or enjoy. The slow-moving and frustration with the character would probably irk me to the point of quitting. I'm glad you were able to get through with a new understanding and admiration for Victoria.

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    1. Thanks :) Yah it's not for everyone but it was worth it. :)

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  21. Interesting review, Juju! It sounds like the narrator did a great job, even if the story took a little time to get into :)

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  22. sounds like the audio version was really good!! hmmm, i'm not sure any of the covers really draw me in. They are really diverse though!

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  23. Love your review! I know exactly what you mean about this story. I really adored the latter half, but the first half is almost uncomfortable because of her awkwardness. But I love how it all comes together. I agree with you on the ending though, because with her character it seems like it would have been unrealistic for her to do a complete 180 by acting like everything was suddenly manageable. I'm intrigued by the audio now! May have to give it a brief listen soon.

    Fabulous review darling! :o)

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    1. Yes!
      Uncomfortable is awesome word for the first 1/2.
      Well said darling.

      And yes a true 180 would have been too much. I love how she knows she has to inch into things.

      Thank you darling.
      Your words always mean so much to me.
      :)

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  24. I can't say that I know very much about this one. Probably not the audio for me but I like that it seemed to make you think. I didn't know there was going to be a movie (but then again, I never know those types of things).

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    1. It really did.
      I'll be interested to see who they cast as Victoria.

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  25. I really want to read this book! And I agree with you, the grey background cover is beautiful.

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

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  26. Wow, so many covers and I can't pick one. I'm glad the story was worth it in the end. Sometimes when I reluctantly give up on a book that I'm not enjoying I wonder if it would have changed my mind if I'd just given it another chapter or two.

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    1. Oh yes! I know exactly what you mean. ;)
      Luckily with audiobooks it's easier to push through.

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  27. I wanted to read this book a while ago, but then I forgot about it ;))
    Thanks for reminding me! ;)

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  28. Hmmm... I've never heard of this author/book. It doesn't sound like one I'd seek out though. Thanks for sharing, Juju! =)

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  29. Wow! That is an amazing amount of various covers! This book sounds like one I'd have to be in the mood for, a gloomy mood.

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    1. *smile* Yah sometimes a gal needs something serious and reflective. This would be great for then.

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  30. Holy crap...that IS a lot of covers. A lot of them are very pretty though! :)

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  31. I'm glad you liked this! I don't necessarily like neat endings, but I thought this one showed a lot of growth in her. As for the cover, I completely agree with you that the original one with the gray is the best!

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  32. This has been on my TBR list for a while (since when I first read about it). I borrowed it but wasn't in the mood to read it a while back. Maybe something I should try again in the future - I like those a-ha moments when reading!

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    1. Ooo let me know when you do get to it. I think you'll like it and would love to hear your thoughts.

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  33. No, I don't think this would be a book choice for me too, but after reading your review I might just seek out the film for there seems to be one...

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    1. It's still in the works :)
      But I'll keep you posted on it.
      I'm very interested to see who they pick for Victoria.

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  34. Juju you are doing so great with audio books now, good for you babe. This one sounds interesting, I would have to be in the right mood though. I have only seen 3 covers, wow, many are eye catching.

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    1. Thank you doll! :)

      And you're right, it definitely requires the right mood.

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  35. I love how you show all the different covers! They are all so pretty!

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    1. Thanks! Does one catch your eye more than another?

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  36. I saw this book a while ago when I was in Holland & I remember thinking about getting it. I didn't buy it, but maybe I will when I'm back. ;) Loving the covers of this book. The sixth one is my favourite.

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    1. Right on :) Glad I inspired you.

      I do like the 6th one too! :)

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  37. Now you have me really curious! I wonder what the reference to all the flowers are.

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    1. Ooo I don't want to spoil it for you but the flowers are a big part of the story.

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  38. I'm intrigued...I haven't had much experience with audiobooks,but I may give this one a try.

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    1. Yay!
      I'm so glad to hear that.
      It's not super fast but it does suck you in.

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  39. Great review! I really want to read this one, I've heard good things. My favourite cover is the black and red sillhouette illustration.

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  40. i loved this story. Great review:) Also, your blog is amazing.

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    1. Why thank you darling :) How very sweet of you!

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  41. Oooh, this book is one of the choices for book givers for World Book Night!

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