Flowers that talk
In a comment on a recent post Robena asked me if I had read The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.
My answer was no. Then.
The name was intriguing so I went to amazon to check it out. Here is the first paragraph:
"For eight years I dreamed of fire. Trees ignited as I passed them; oceans burned. The sugary smoke settled in my hair as I slept, the scent like a cloud left on my pillow as I rose. Even so, the moment my mattress started to burn, I bolted awake. The sharp, chemical smell was nothing like the hazy syrup of my dreams; the two were as different as Carolina and Indian jasmine, separation and attachment. They could not be confused."
How could I ever resist a book with a first paragraph like that? I love books with good first paragraphs. ( I was struck dumb with amazement at Zora Neale Hurston's book Their Eyes Were Watching God on the strength of first paragraphs alone. It seemed like every chapter had an amazing first paragraph.)
There was one little hitch, though. The Language of Flowers wasn't a romance novel. In fact, I couldn't really find it's genre. What if it ended tragically like another book I read recently and immediately wanted to spit in the author's morning coffee?
Nonetheless it called to me and when I found it at the library I couldn't resist. So Robena, I have read it.
And it is fabulous.
Did you know that if two people were to learn the language of flowers they could converse using flowers alone, no words? The dictionary is extensive.
I had seen the word misanthropy before but I didn't know it meant hatred or mistrust of humankind. I feel like that sometimes, it's rare, but I do. If I were having one of those days, and you and I were conversant in flowers, I could give you some common thistle and you would know exactly what I was feeling.
There is a flower farm, be still my heart, and a vineyard, big sigh, in the book. I learned another new word (for me, anyway) viticulture; the science or practice of growing grapevines, especially for winemaking.
If you are like me and you love flowers, this book lets you wallow in them. I was constantly looking up flowers.
For instance, I have always thought of poppies as red. Here is a pic of the Matilija Poppy:
Not red. Very beautiful, though.
The story is so compelling and wrenching and heartwarming. I couldn't put the book down.
Just so you know - a romance develops and while it doesn't have a dead set HEA it has a very definite HFN (happily for now) that I believe leads to an HEA.
And, ladies, at one point Victoria, the protagonist, is asked to make a bouquet for a wife whose sexlife has gone downhill - jonquils!
According to The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, I have blooms that stimulate desire in my yard right this very moment. Who knew?