World of Flowers, Bees, Orchards, Grapes, War, and Missing Parents
Paso Robles, California
July 22, 2018 1:08am CST
I've been on another reading binge -- three great novels in four days. After reading a review by a friend I had to read The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It's the story of Vistoria who grew up in the foster care system and was almost adopted until she herself ruined it. Elizabeth, the woman who was going to adopt her, had a vineyard and taught Victoria not only all about cultivating wine grapes, but also about the meanings of flowers. Elizabeth also had a dysfunctional family. She and her sister were estranged. When Victoria aged out of the system and could finally leave her group home, she chose to be homeless for a while before getting a job with a florist. She recognizes Elizabeth's nephew at a flower market and they become friends, but she is afraid to reconnect with Elizabeth because she had set her vineyard on fire that last night she was there. (Long story.) No more spoilers. I suppose this book affected me so much because Victoria reminded me so much of my daughter Sarah, who had come to us as a foster child when she was nine -- almost the same age as Victoria came to Elizabeth and with some of the same emotional scars. I wish Sarah's story had ended as well as Victoria's, but it didn't. The other two books I finished were my introduction to author Susan Wiggs. I'm trying to write a blog post on the first two volumes of the Bella Vista Chronicles now, and if the library had had the third one I wouldn't be here posting now -- I'd be reading it. The Bella Vista Chronicles switch back and forth from an estate in Sonoma County in California today back to Denmark under German occupation during WW2 and the Danish Resistance Movement. It's a family saga where there are missing fathers, two women born on the exact same day who discover they had the same father but different mothers, and neither has met their father. They all meet at the estate of Bella Vista with its hundred acres that includes family mysteries, an apple orchard and bee hives. There is mystery, history, and romance. I don't want to write more about it here or I won't feel like writing my blog post. But I didn't want to put either volume down. Have you read any of these books or authors? If so, what did you think of them? They were all new to me. I like historical fiction and books where plants, dysfunctional families, or foster children play a big role. What sort of books do you like?
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• Paso Robles, California
@allen0187 They probably are. But I don't like all that are considered classics anymore than I like all (or even most) of today's best sellers. I read the ones I think I will like. At my age I'm giving each book in my possession a chance to get me interested in the first fifty pages and it doesn't it will be passed on to someone who might appreciate it more. I've got many more books than I will ever have a chance to read.