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Book Club

Book Club Questions: The Language of Flowers

At the beginning of April we launched our very first book club! You voted, and the chosen read was The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. We read it, we loved it. Now we’re excited to hear what you thought of the book!

For today’s discussion we’re using the following list of book club questions from Random House. These questions are simply meant to offer a bit of guidance and to get you thinking, so please don’t feel pressured to answer each and every one. Simply pick one or two that you feel strongly about and share your thoughts in the comments.

  1. What potential do Elizabeth, Renata, and Grant see in Victoria that she has difficulty seeing in herself?
  2. While Victoria has been hungry and malnourished throughout the majority of her life, food ends up meaning more than just nourishment to her.  Why do you think that is?
  3. Victoria and Elizabeth both struggle with the idea of being part of a family.  What does it mean to you to be part of a family?  What defines family?
  4. Why do you think Elizabeth waits so long before trying to patch things up with her long-lost sister Catherine?
  5. The first week after her daughter’s birth goes surprisingly well for Victoria.  Why does Victoria feel unable to care for her child after the week ends?  What is it that allows her to rejoin her family?
  6. One of the major themes in The Language of Flowers is forgiveness and second chances – do you think Victoria deserves one after the things she did (both as a child and as an adult)?  What about Catherine and Elizabeth?
  7. What did you think of the structure of the book – the alternating chapters of past and present?  In what ways did the two storylines parallel each other, and how did they diverge?
  8. The novel touches on many different themes (love, family, forgiveness, second chances). Which do you think is the most important?  And what did you think was ultimately the lesson?
  9. At the end of the novel, Victoria learns that moss grows without roots.  What does this mean, and why is it such a revelation for her?
  10. Based on your reading of the novel, what are your impressions of the foster care system in America?  What could be improved?
  11. Knowing what you now know about the language of the flowers, to whom would you send a bouquet and what would you want it to say?

We’ll be monitoring this page throughout the day, so please feel welcome to post whenever is convenient for you. Hopefully we’ll get a good discussion going!

Posted on April 28, 2014 by Julia Nelson

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