This novel! Oh my gosh. This is one of those novels I've been looking at and putting back down for at least a year, but I finally decided to take it home and read it and it was so good. Based on the description, it sounds like a novel that could easily turn into a cliche and be a very predictable Lifetime movie style tear jerker, but it was so much better than that.
Victoria grew up in the foster care system, and despite several placements, she never made it out of the system. There was only one time that she was close but even that one failed. Now she is 18, and she is on her own. After an initial few weeks at a halfway house of sorts, she is homeless and jobless. She is cynical, skeptical and doesn't trust anyone but she loves flowers, and the Victorian language of flowers. Her gift with flowers helps her get a part time job at a local florist, and her life seems to be coming back together.
Her work with flowers reintroduces her to a person from her past, the nephew of Elizabeth. Elizabeth is the woman that almost adopted Victoria, and was her last chance at a home, and she is also the one that taught her the language of flowers. The novel tells the story of Victoria's adjustment to life on her own, while also telling of her life with Elizabeth. As Victoria begins to figure out some things in her life, she also becomes overwhelmed by a secret from her past, and the relationships she is developing with the people around her, causing her to withdraw. As the reader, it is easy to both root for her, and be frustrtated with her decisions.
The author has worked with the foster system and youth in it, and has a son who was in the system so I think that definitely provides an air of authencity and depth to this narrative that could have easily become melodrama in less capable hands.