The Language of Flowers: A Novel

August’s book pick was The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Brought by Suhanti.

Book Synopsis:

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating 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 with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning 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.

Book Discussion:

Venue was Suhanthi’s house screen porch.  Food was from Inchin Bamboo Garden. Jill, Amy and Sondra came on time. Amy brought flowers she picked from her garden – lilies (majestic) and dahlias (dignity/ elegance).  Thank you Amy. I placed a food order to be delivered for the very first time and it was a fiasco.  I ordered and was supposed to get a confirmation email, but never did.  So called the restaurant and the never received the order.  Then I place a takeout order for just the main course as the food would not be ready for 75 minutes.  

As children and their attitude towards household chores was being discussed, I whipped a couple of appetizers – peanut salad which was a big hit and pakoras. Waiting to hear how Jill’s version of the salad with cashews turn out.  As we talk about the book while waiting for Shoba to come to start the discussion per her request, I send Kamesh to pick the takeout.  While he is on his way, I receive a text that the food has been delivered on my front porch.  Then I had to argue with the restaurant about canctthe takeout, I was ready to start drinking.  Phew.  Never again am I ordering food to be delivered.  Now that I have acknowledged my challenged capability (rather the lack of) to order food let’s move on.

Jill as usual pulled out a list of discussion questions and ensured that we got through them all.  She had to bang on the wine glass to bring the culprits (Shobha and me)to get on track with the discussion.  This was one of those books which entailed a lot of discussion.  Final verdict was a thumbs up (3 thumbs up, one down and one sideways).  In ending, to answer the question about what flowers would you give to someone important in your life, Jill said she would give all the Dine and Opiners freesias as they signified lifelong friendship. Luna decided to interrupt the discussion to get some love and then eventually settled down to serve as footrest.

Shoba brought Kheer and I served Moong dal Halwa For dessert which were combined by some.  Jill was shushed into handing the book picks when she started providing context around her selection.  She handed the 3 and did not have to use the two titles she had as back up.  The winner was “the maid: a novel of Joan of Arc” by Kimberly Cutter.  If you haven’t seen the group text, it is available on Hoopla.

Everyone made their way home around 11 after making plans to get Henna done.  Was a fun evening.