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Extended Audio Sample The Language of Flowers: A Novel Audiobook, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00002391086031 out of 54.00002391086031 out of 54.00002391086031 out of 54.00002391086031 out of 54.00002391086031 out of 5 4.00 (41,822 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Vanessa Diffenbaugh Narrator: Tara Sands Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9780307878946
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The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it has been more useful in communicating feelings like grief, 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, Victoria has nowhere to go, and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. When her talent is discovered by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But it takes meeting a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realise what's been missing in her own life, and as she starts to fall for him, she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, and decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness. The Language of Flowers is a heartbreaking and redemptive novel about the meaning of flowers, the meaning of family, and the meaning of love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s instantly entrancing The Language of Flowers is a modern-day fairy tale.”

    Elle

  • “Catnip for book clubs.”

    NPR

  • “Powerful and evocative…The Language of Flowers uses green, growing things to say something fresh and special about human life.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “An absorbing story that is as complicated and exhilarating as any human relationship…The Language of Flowers is full of startling and masterful dialogue, intense, emotional scenes that crackle and come alive as they unspool, and flawed yet sympathetic characters.”

    BookPage

  • “Diffenbaugh effortlessly spins this enchanting tale, making even her prickly protagonist impossible not to love.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Fascinating…Diffenbaugh, herself a foster mother, clearly knows both the human heart and her plants, and she keeps us rooting for the damaged Victoria, who comes, finally, to understand that ‘the unattached, the unwanted, the unloved [can] grow to give love as lushly as anyone else.’”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “The first-time novelist—and real-life foster mother—masterfully mixes sweet and tart to create a story that is devastating, yes, and hopeful, but also surprisingly, satisfyingly real.”

    Redbook

  • “Captivating…The Language of Flowers deftly weaves the sweetness of newfound love with the heartache of past mistakes into a novel that will certainly change how you choose your next bouquet.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “This is the story of an orphan rising above her circumstances—Jane Eyre for 2011.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Lucid and lovely…Diffenbaugh has found a vibrant way to tell a familiar story of rift (Carolina jasmine) and reconciliation (hazel).”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Immensely engaging…Diffenbaugh’s most compelling love stories are those between women—mothers and daughters, sisters, friends. As Victoria’s two stories hurtle toward their conclusions, Diffenbaugh ably paces both the plot developments and an emotional arc of almost unbearable poignance.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Enchanting, ennobling, and powerfully engaging, Diffenbaugh’s artfully accomplished debut novel lends poignant testimony to the multitude of mysteries held in the human heart.”

    Booklist (starred)

  • “Fans of Janet Fitch’s White Oleander will enjoy this solid and well-written debut, which is also certain to be a hit with book clubs.”

    Library Journal (starred)

  • “Diffenbaugh’s affecting debut chronicles the first harrowing steps into adulthood taken by a deeply wounded soul who finds her only solace in an all-but-forgotten language…Struggling against all and ultimately reborn, Victoria Jones is hard to love, but very easy to root for.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the September 2011 Indie Next List
  • Selected for the 2012 RUSA Reading List for Women's Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lora | 2/17/2014

    " This was a pretty fast read. It was an interesting novel about an 18 year old girl emancipated from the foster care system (though it goes back and forth between the present and past, her struggles and triumphs over the next approximately 2 years, her passion for flowers and their meaning/definition, and overcoming her inability to love and trust others. There are some very good reviews already written that provide more detail. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie Barnes | 2/10/2014

    " I found this book on a clean book review blog. I thought it was ok. At one point where I stopped reading for the night I went to bed with a sick feeling for some of the characters decisions. Looking back it was the worst stopping point in the book but... hindsight's 20/20. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria | 2/3/2014

    " This book dealt with so much despair at the beginning but don't give up on it. A wonderful tale of learning about the human spirit, thinking that I need to buy a book about flowers and their meaning. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 1/19/2014

    " I liked this book. It was different than what I thought it would be. I liked the ending. I hated how she felt so trapped when she had Hazel as a baby, and she couldn't leave the house or anything like that. I felt like that was wrong of her, but I know I would feel that way. She doesn't have someone to watch Hazel, a way to get money, etc. I would've driven myself insane. I would've had to give her away, too. I would've needed help. I wish she would've just told Grant, but she didn't. I was afraid she would give Hazel up for adoption, and i'm glad she didn't.. This is a coming of age book. Growing up and maturing. She became a mother very young, but a lot of people do. I liked Elizabeth a lot, and the life she had with her. I hated Elizabeth for not wanting to adopt her at that one point. That was just an excuse. She was scared. Anyways. Read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue Reed | 1/9/2014

    " Love flowers so I enjoyed this part of the book. The storyline itself was very well written "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peg | 1/6/2014

    " Book club and I read the wrong book . . . the old "Language of Flowers" . . . however it helped understand some of this book. I loved the story, characters, ending . . . great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mjiagulli | 1/3/2014

    " This book speaks to people on so many levels it is a perfect choice for book group reading. I thoroughly enjoyed thinking about the flowers and how the characters were drawn together through flowers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Mohrparaskevopoulos | 1/2/2014

    " because it hit so close to home it is difficult to rate "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan Yang | 12/11/2013

    " "If it was true that moss did not have roots, and maternal love could grow spontaneously, as if from nothing, perhaps I had been wrong to believe myself unfit to raise my daughter. Perhaps the unattached, the unwanted, the unloved, could grow to give love as lushly as anyone else." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sylvie | 12/9/2013

    " It's been a while since I've read a book cover to cover in 2 days. This is a beautiful book about love, trust and forgiveness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonna Doughty | 11/22/2013

    " Beautiful and heartbreaking. I started reading, and could not put this book down, staying up until the wee hours of the morning to finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alicia Charland | 10/5/2013

    " It is a beautiful and different kind of love story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erica Sutch | 9/5/2013

    " an engaging and thought-provoking novel on mother\daughter relationships, with the added interest of a dictionary for flower meanings "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vickie Marton | 7/19/2013

    " I liked this book. It was a very nice read. Being the practical person that I am, I found it a little Polyannaish, but that's not a bad thing when reading to escape into a more Polyanna world. It is a real feel good at the end book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trish | 6/3/2013

    " This book was well written and I enjoyed it, mostly. I had a hard time liking the main character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth Fagundes | 4/5/2013

    " This was a wonderful book with rich characters that I going easy to like and care about. I rooted for Victoria the whole way through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Ahlgren | 1/29/2013

    " The message this book leaves me with is that we can grow and shine if we find our passion and learn it, and that the hardest part of learning in in how we can bring our knowledge home to ourselves and those we love. i will never look at basil or lavender in the same way..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen Gilbert | 12/7/2012

    " Loved this book! Made me look at flowers differently. Such a sweet and painful story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mia | 10/15/2012

    " What a great concept for a book. The flower talk brought the occasionally predictable plot to the next level. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara Wayne cassidy | 9/13/2012

    " I thought it was ok. I read other reviews and was excited to read this, but it was just ok. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alisonh | 7/28/2012

    " Very moving. It was fun learning some of the definitions of flowers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynnanne | 6/22/2012

    " I read this book almost 2 yrs ago, shortly after my own mother died. I think that event had me liking this book about mothers more than I would have if I had read it at another time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Ewald | 5/12/2012

    " I am usually a non-fiction person, but I liked this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara Ray | 2/25/2012

    " Oh my! I just wanted to get ahold of Victoria and tell her to wake up and smell the purple hyacinths. I know that any child without a home and family to love would grow up fearful and doubtful when love is finally shown them. I'm glad I stuck with it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 11/25/2011

    " It's one of those books that you don't want to stop reading. I loved this book and will read again "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Iris | 11/7/2011

    " I absolutely loved the story, the use of the language of flowers as a way to unite the characters and the light shined upon diassociate disorder. Wonderful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 11/7/2011

    " Well this one interested me since my grandmother had a flower shop. I always enjoyed working by her side. It also takes place in San Francisco which is near and dear to me. A good book about a young women making the best out of what life deals her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lesley | 11/6/2011

    " This was a good read. I enjoyed the story and also found it really interesting to learn about the meaning of flowers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maryann | 11/5/2011

    " A wonderful read of personal growth, relationships, and the meaning of flowers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mandeep | 11/4/2011

    " it was a fast read for me and parts i really liked, and parts not so much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 11/3/2011

    " I occasionally grew angry or impatient with this book, but wound up feeling like I grew a bit in the process! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lesley | 11/3/2011

    " interesting! goes back and forth from childhood to present but it all ties nicely together at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darlene | 11/2/2011

    " One of those books that you'll think about long after reading (particularly if you work with/know kids in the foster care system.) I can always count on you, Mari Anne for a great recommendation! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laurie | 11/1/2011

    " The story line was okay, it hooked me more toward the end. I did enjoy the dictionary of flowers and their meanings and the history of flowers used to communicate over time. "

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About the Author
Author Vanessa DiffenbaughVanessa Diffenbaugh is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Language of Flowers, which was translated into more than forty languages. A mother of four, she lives with her husband in Monterey, California. In addition to being a writer, Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a passionate foster care advocate and sits on the board of Youth Villages, where she supports their mission to radically improve outcomes for America’s most vulnerable children and families.
About the Narrator

Tara Sands is an American actress, television host, and voice talent who has won nine AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration. She is well known as the voice of Anna Kyoyama in Shaman King, Mokuba Kaiba in the English adaptation of the second series Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, as well as Chase on Fighting Foodons. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, and raised in New Jersey, She studied theater at Hofstra University and has had a steady stream of voice acting work since high school. Much of her work is in anime dubbing, with multiple roles in such franchises as Slayers and Pokémon. She has also narrated numerous audiobooks, including Wendelin Van Draanen’s Sammy Keyes series and Ellen Potter’s Olivia Kidney series. In addition to providing voiceovers, she has appeared on-camera in commercials, including as the ‘Office Cheerleader’ in a series for Lipton’s Cup-a-Soup and television series, including, Everybody Hates Chris. She is also a successful television host whose credits include: Cartoon Network’s weekly block, Fridays and major red carpet premieres.