Attention book lovers! I’ve found another book I highly recommend. It’s “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I started reading it last night and had to make myself put it down and go to bed.
The book was recommended by our local CASA office. The main character, Victoria, has turned 18 and has become emancipated from the system. I won’t do it justice so let me borrow from the book’s description…
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, aster for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating 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 and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes that she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market inspires her to question 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.
The story starts with Victoria’s 18th birthday (they at least think it’s her birthday. She was abandoned by her mother so it’s a guess). She awakes with the smell of fire. There are matches lit at the end of her bed. It’s a “present” from the other girls who live in the group home.
As I continued reading it’s easy to see how Victoria and others in the foster care system feel like trash…people who have been thrown away. They’ve been abused by those in the system, made to feel less than human, and have to fight for anything and everything.
Even in “regular” life it’s easy to not see the real in people. You see what you perceive is real or what your biases tell you is real. I deal with these thoughts and biases all the time. I’m asking God to let me open my eyes and my heart to all who I encounter. Keep the biases and preconceived ideas at bay. Help me to not be part of the throw-away mentality.