Hello readers! When we announced The Language of Flowers as April’s book, we had instant feedback! Our Instagram post was full of comments with high praise for it, so we’re hoping you’ve been reading along with us, whether it’s for the first time or the second. How are you liking it? Parts of this book are not easy to read, as Victoria pushes everything good away from her again and again. Her communication is through flowers though, and it’s from that language that she gains knowledge and ultimately, confidence in herself as a mother and hope for a future with the people she loves. Yes, loves! By the end, Victoria has learned to let love into her life. Here are a few discussion questions and reading suggestions. If you have a copy of the book with the author’s other discussion questions, read those too! They’re fabulous! Our amazing artwork this month was illustrated by the incredible Lisa Grue! Stay tuned for an interview with her in the next week.
Continue to see the discussion questions and download The Language of Flowers Artwork!
1. When we meet them, each character seems to have labeled themselves: parentless, childless, homeless, hopelessly flawed, unlovable, etc. At one point, Elizabeth tells young Victoria that the “language of flowers is non-negotiable,” yet Victoria and Grant spend hours finding, discussing, and deciding upon every flower’s meaning. Throughout the novel, how are the characters changing? How are they “negotiating” their own meaning or label of whothey are? This idea of change and transformation brings to mind something else Elizabeth told Victoria: “I believe you can prove everyone wrong, too, Victoria. Your behavior is a choice; it isn’t who you are.” How do the characters learn that they’re not defined by their past?
2. Grant tells Victoria, “Moss grows without roots.” Moss symbolizes maternal love, and with Victoria’s lack of a stable mother figure in her childhood (roots), she thinks she cannot be a good mother. How did Grant (and even Mother Ruby, or Renata) see that potential in Victoria before she even saw it in herself?
3. Victoria helps Bloom, Renata’s business grow and flourish. The customers love her insight into their lives and the flowers that may help their situations! Then Victoria creates Message, her own flower business, but still feels like she can only cause pain to those around her. What finally helps her see otherwise??
These next two are Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s own questions! (I especially love #11!)
8. The novel touches on many themes (love, family, forgiveness, second chances). Which do you think is the most important? And what did you think was ultimately the book’s lesson?
11. Knowing what you now know about the language of flowers, to whom would you send a bouquet, and what would you want it to say?
The Language of Flowers Artwork:
If you enjoyed The Language of Flowers, you might like:
The Secret Language of Flowers by Samantha Gray
We Never Asked For Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh