The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
“The language of flowers is nonnegotiable, Victoria.”
I loved this book so. Damn. Much. At a basic level it’s about a girl named Victoria and what she does with her life once she washes out of the foster care system. On a more thematic level, it’s about damaged goods. It’s about things getting lost in translation.
It’s a phenomenal example of an unreliable narrator.
Victoria is broken, and love is not possible for her. That’s what she thinks, anyway. What’s fascinating about Victoria is her concrete, unshakeable certainty in her own flaws. She does not indulge in self pity. She is what she is, and everything about her life and her self have been constructed around her assumptions. She does not desire to change any more than she desires to turn into a duck, because it’s just. Not. Possible.
The writing, too, is a delight: rich, detailed, yet there’s not a bit of dross here. It’s as if the author knows just what the reader will want or need, and has thoughtfully gotten rid of anything else (without leaving the narrative feeling spare or minimalist).
All in all, I highly recommend it.