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Islington Branch Book Club - Past Titles: "The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Take a look through previous titles we've discussed at our Islington Branch Book Club

"The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

  1. Victoria uses the Victorian language of flowers to communicate. How does the symbolic meaning of flowers enhance the narrative and reveal Victoria's emotions throughout the story?

  2. The novel alternates between Victoria's past and present. How does this dual timeline contribute to your understanding of the character and her journey?

  3. Discuss the significance of the foster care system in the novel. How does Victoria's experience in the system shape her identity and relationships?

  4. The theme of forgiveness is prominent in the story. How do different characters grapple with forgiveness, and how does it impact their lives?

  5. Explore the role of Elizabeth, Victoria's social worker, in the narrative. How does their relationship evolve, and what impact does Elizabeth have on Victoria's life?

  6. The concept of motherhood is explored through various characters in the novel. How does Victoria's perception of motherhood change over time, and how do other characters embody different aspects of motherhood?

  7. Discuss the symbolism of the garden in the story. How does gardening serve as a metaphor for healing and growth in Victoria's life?

  8. Explore the theme of identity and belonging. How does Victoria grapple with her sense of self and finding a place where she feels she belongs?

  9. The novel addresses the challenges and complexities of transitioning from foster care to adulthood. How does Victoria navigate the transition, and what obstacles does she face?

  10. Reflect on the impact of small acts of kindness in the story. How do these gestures influence the characters and contribute to the overall theme of redemption?

  11. Discuss the portrayal of love and romantic relationships in the novel. How do the characters' past experiences shape their ability to love and be loved?

Vanessa Diffenbaugh was born on March 1, 1978, in San Francisco, California. She grew up in California and studied creative writing and education at Stanford University.

Before pursuing a career in writing, Diffenbaugh worked in the field of education and foster care. She has a background in working with youth in the foster care system, which influenced and inspired elements of her debut novel.

Diffenbaugh gained widespread acclaim with the publication of "The Language of Flowers" in 2011. The novel explores the life of a young woman named Victoria Jones, who communicates through the Victorian language of flowers. The book delves into themes of love, healing, and the challenges faced by those in the foster care system.

"The Language of Flowers" became a bestseller and was well-received for its emotional depth and exploration of complex relationships. The novel's unique premise, incorporating the symbolic language of flowers, added to its appeal.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh has continued to be involved in various literary and social initiatives. She has spoken about foster care issues and has used her platform to raise awareness about the challenges faced by children in the foster care system.


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