Much of my career as a lawyer has been dedicated to issues related to children. So often; children get lost in the shuffle of grownups making decisions for them. Some of those grownups are well-intended, some are not; some of the decisions they make are good ones, and some do damage beyond repair. One of my points of pride in my profession is representing a young man who suffered from Reactive Attachment Disorder in court, all the way through the appellate level. (You can see a video of me arguing on his behalf in front of the Georgia Supreme Court by clicking here.) This boy wanted nothing more than to have a voice in the courtroom, and it was denied him.
And so, “The Language of Flowers” struck a chord with me. This book is about a young woman who (though the book doesn’t give a diagnosis) likewise suffers from Reactive Attachment Disorder. It begins upon her graduation from the foster care system and her being thrust out into a world she is wholly unprepared to meet. The author herself, Vanessa Diffenbaugh, has worked directly with foster children, and her realistic, unflinching portrait shines through.
Although the book has a point, the characters are real and three dimensional. The protagonist, Victoria, will break your heart and make you hope and feel maternal and frustrated. A few plot points seem a little contrived or unrealistically coincidental, and the lengths to which some folks will go out of their way to help the decidedly prickly Victoria are a little unrealistic to my cynical self, but these flaws are made up by the loveliness of the book The title comes from the fact that one of her foster parents, Elizabeth, taught Victoria the Victorian meaning of all the flowers. Victoria finds communicating through flowers much easier than actually speaking, and her luck in finding people who understand what she is saying that way allows her to expose herself in ways she could not in more traditional ways.
This book will make you look at grocery store bouquets and troubled children in very different ways.
To buy the book, click the Amazon link below.
Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Told You…” is set to be released in the Fall of 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here.