Thursday, July 5, 2012

Diffenbaugh, Vanessa (The Language of Flowers)

Apparently, my wedding bouquet sent this message: good news, love at first sight, and the ability to transcend space and time. Not bad for not knowing what the flowers I had chosen meant!

This was by far the best part of the novel: that our central character actually communicates, probably because she finds it so very difficult to communicate via words or touch, by sending flowers with certain meanings to people, and receiving flowers back. It's an excellent trope to hang a story off of.

At first, though, I felt like I was back in the horribleness that was White Oleander, this book also being about the different kinds of nasty that are foster and group homes. But, this one is far more engaging. Maybe it doesn't have the mastery of description that White Oleander did, but I'll trade that for a story that flows pretty much any day.

A fast, fun read. Unfortunately, I felt like there were 3 things lacking or inappropriate in this novel:
- A good ending. You read the acknowledgements and it's clear she re-wrote the ending several times. Yea, you didn't quite get it right in the end.
- The lame crutch that is the mystery-not-revealed-at-first-so-keep-reading-and-boy-it-better-be-a-good-one-by-the-time-we-get-there. Never is. In fact, it was dead obvious here.
- Over-description of the pre-, during- and post-partum emotional nature of having a baby. In no way did this fit the rest of the novel, so the author was just trying to get all her feelings about giving birth herself down on paper. Never works as nicely as you think it will.

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