The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

I started reading this book and within the first four pages I knew I would be driven to distraction trying to finish it as quickly as possible. This is the sort of book that eclipses anything else you may be doing or should be doing. Do not be fooled into thinking you will be able to put it down, you won’t. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the sort of book that will have a lasting impact on anyone who reads it. This is definitely on my top ten list for 2011.

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The Language of Flowers is Victoria Jones’ story. Orphaned as a small child she has spent the majority of her life being shuffled between institutions and foster homes. This upbringing has born in Victoria many fears, the main being a mistrust of anyone and anything. Unable to get close to anyone she communicates in the language of flowers. Honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion and red roses for love. Using this strange and ancient language she conveys her feelings to those around her never knowing if she is understood or not.

Now eighteen years old Victoria has been kicked out of the system and is finally facing the world on her own. Alone, afraid and with nowhere to go, Victoria takes up residence in a public park. She plants a small garden of her own within the park and begins to attempt to make her way in the world. Looking for work she comes across a local florist and asks for any work the florist may have for her. So begins the next chapter in Victoria’s life.

She thrives on the thrill of matching customers with the perfect flower to match their needs and it is this new beginning that will bring her to meet the person that could change everything. A mysterious flower vendor working at the market place, a man who will make her face the demons of her past and finally get her to ask herself the questions she has run from for so long.

The story switches from stories of Victoria’s past to the present. Back and forth as the mystery of her life unravels and the two parts of the story become one. Take the journey with Victoria, and sit alongside her as she discovers insights about herself and her life she had never considered.

Richly woven, dark, menacing and oftentimes heartbreaking this is a novel of redemption, love, loss and the beautiful language of flowers. A truly beautiful literary novel, this is a book to get lost in. I did not want this book to end and I cannot recommend it enough.  Make sure you add this to your “to be read” pile.

– Courtney for TLC Books


Mama Couture by Moya Kate

Moya Kate has done what many could not, she has written a hilarious, fun-filled story about the ups and downs of motherhood and made it stylish. Mama Couture is fantastic. For anyone who has had children, is pregnant or one day dreams of children this book is a must read for you.

Mama Couture is the story of Til Fisher a woman who has it all, the perfect job, a wardrobe full of designer clothing and a social life that most would envy. But on New Years Eve Til makes the greatest fashion faux pas: teaming sexy stilettos with way too many champagnes and a gorgeous virile man in a suit. When the haze of New Years Eve passes Til discovers she is pregnant, in all its sickness inducing hormone crazed madness. Nine months pass as Til swells to epic proportions, and then out of the blue Til discovers she actually loves being with her baby, in spite of the screaming, nappy changing and mess she is actually dreading the end of her maternity leave. The decision Til makes sets her on a path she never dreamed of, a decision that will take her around the world and set her on a path she never anticipated.

Woven with incredible facts about pregnancy and the first year of motherhood, Mama Couture takes an honest and unflinching look at one woman’s journey into parenting and beyond. Told in the style of such great women writers as Kathy Lette and Maggie Alderson, Moya Kate will have you laughing till you cry and wishing you could be Til even if it was only for a week. This story is real, it’s funny, it’s honest and most of all it is hilarious. Few people can make parenting so funny without resorting to the usual nappy changing jokes but Moya Kate has done exactly that! Not only that, but she has given women everywhere a voice that says yes; you can be a mother, but you can also be a million other things as well and you can do it all while wearing a fabulous pair of stilettos.

I hope that every woman who reads Mama Couture loves it as much as I did, being a mother to a little girl myself this book spoke to me like nothing I have ever read before, part comedy, part mothering manual, part business guide, Mama Couture is the modern anthem for women everywhere, It’s Bridget Jones’ Diary meets Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman, with stiletto shoes and designer clothes.

TLC Books will be hosting the launch of Mama Couture, Monday the 2nd of May at 6.30pm. Come and toast this great book with the author, champagne and cupcakes will be in abundance as Moya Kate shares about writing the book, the creation of Til Fisher and the trials of motherhood and business!

Tickets are free, please RSVP by facebook, email info@tlcbooks.com.au or ph: 33935130 as places are limited.

Courtney Nicholas for TLC Books