The reader picked up the book at her local charity shop. The cover was worn, the spine creased. Someone had enjoyed reading it, she thought, always a good sign. She turned it over in her hand to read the blurb and it sounded interesting enough. The title might indicate it was a romance, possibly what they called a holiday read these days.
It turned out to be the bittersweet, painful story of Victoria, someone who desperately wanted to love and be loved, but whom life had taught to run away.
As she read the book, a part of her found a truth, some recognition inside her. It could have been written about her, and as she read on the pain became more unbearable, and she wondered how it would end. Will it confirm what she already knew, or would it revert to a happy ending?
We all need to know love, to receive and share it. We seem to be born with the knowledge of how special it should be, how perfectly beautiful it will be, should we ever find it.
For many of us though, the dream is impossible and elusive.
Even when we get a glimpse, the breath of possibility, it always escapes us, never matching what we feel inside.
We are always left wanting, having to settle for what little we get.
However, the author had not finished. She would show the reader everything she had done wrong, what she should have done.
The reason she could not love was because she had never been show how.
This was where she, and the character in the book, differed. Victoria had been offered help, many times, only to refuse it. Whereas the reader never had, no one had ever tried to help her. Sometimes someone would want to, but life decreed otherwise and it never happened. She was not raised. No one reared her. She was unattached, unloved and unwanted.
It says on the cover that ‘Anyone can grow into something beautiful’ but the optimum word there is, ‘can’.
We all believe this and sometimes it is true.
She didn’t know what to expect when she began to read this book. A pretty love story perhaps, centred on the Victorian language of flowers.
As she progressed through the pages, she found herself reading about herself, her very own painful and miserable life, and tears dampened nearly every page.
The end was a typical Hollywood finale, love conquers all, forgiveness and happy ever after, the whole nine yards.
Perfect ending for the book…
Grateful thanks to Vanessa Diffenbaugh for writing ‘The Language of Flowers’