"The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
This book was recommended on a blog I read. This is the authors first book. She is a mom, a woman who has taken in foster kids. A mom who has decided that change needs to happen in our foster system and is doing something about it. She has started an organization called Camellia Network that helps support youth making the transition from foster care to independence. You should check out her site, www.camellianetwork.org
This book is about Victoria, a girl who has spent her life in the foster care system. She has now aged out and is on her own. She loves flowers and has used them to communicate. But never has she used them to communicate love or trust. She must deal with her past in order to have a future but is she willing to be honest and risk everything for a chance at happiness? This book tells how flowers in the Victorian era had meanings and people would communicate with them. I found it very intriguing all of the different meanings for different flowers, I had no idea. The book was also a eye opener to the hardships of foster care for the children in it and what happens when they are emancipated from the system. The struggles that Victoria faces are all too real for many 18 year old foster kids. And this book shows that there has got to be a better way. (Which is why the author started the Camellia Network.) I love how in the book a few people dared take a chance on Victoria and how love wins. "Perhaps the unattached, the unwanted, the unloved, could grow to give love as lushly as anyone else." These kids that age out of the system truly are the unwanted and unloved. They are the ones that got passed around with no permanence in their lives. But if someone gives them a chance, if someone believes in them, love can abound.