NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude.
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More About The Language of Flowers by Vanessa DiffenbaughOverview
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER"
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. 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 chance at happiness.
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LEGACIES OF 9/11
The Submission, Amy Waldman’s accomplished debut, examines the ways in which America was changed by the tragedy of 9/11. The novel’s polarizing event is an anonymous design contest for a memorial at Ground Zero. When the competition is won by Muslim architect Mohammad Khan, the controversial choice causes an uproar. Waldman, a former New Delhi bureau chief for The New York Times, creates a fascinating cast of players to tell an unforgettable story. Rich widow Claire Burwell, a judge in the contest, initially backs Khan but later has misgivings. Hot-tempered Sean Gallagher, who lost a brother on 9/11, is against the memorial, while contest chairman Paul Rubin is worried about the political side of the crisis. Waldman’s depictions are convincing, and she writes with emotion and heart—but without lapsing into sentimentality. This is a shrewd and timely novel that’s sure to hit home with readers.
TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s touching debut tells the story of 18-year-old Victoria Jones, an orphan living on the streets of San Francisco. Brought up in foster care, Victoria finds it hard to trust people and shies away from relationships. She finds solace in an unexpected source: flowers. Diffenbaugh deftly weaves in scenes of Victoria’s childhood, when she lived with a woman named Elizabeth who taught her all about plants. That knowledge proves invaluable when Victoria lands a job at a florist, where she demonstrates a gift for creating bouquets. Her arrangements seem to have special properties, triggering change for the better in the lives of those who receive them. When change affects her own life—in the form of a kind young man from her past—Victoria finds herself re-evaluating her solitary existence. Diffenbaugh’s sensitively written tale shows what life is like for the lonely while affirming that connection and growth are always possible.