The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones it has been more useful in communicating feelings like grief, mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.
Now eighteen, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. When her talent is spotted by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But it takes meeting a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realise what's been missing in her own life and, as she starts to fall for him, she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past and decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
|acacia - secret love|
|white clover - think of me|
I pointed to the flowers. " You can't poison me, or give me medicine I don't want, or hit me - even if I deserve it. Those are the rules." I glared across the table when I said it and hoped she felt my threat. I had reported more than one person for spanking.
"If I were trying to poison you, I would give you foxglove or hydrangea, maybe anemone, depending on how much pain I wanted you to feel, and what message I was trying to communicate."
Curiosity overcame my dislike of conversation. "What're you talking about?"
"These flowers are starwort," she said. "Starwort means welcome. By giving you a bouquet of starwort, I'm welcoming you to my home, to my life." She twirled buttery pasta on her fork and looked into my eyes without a glimmer of humour."
|forsythia - anticipation|
|jonquil - desire|