Snow, Fire, and Flowers
It’s the middle of January and we finally had our first little snowstorm of the season in Michigan. Even though I’ve lived through long, cold winters my whole life, I still do not embrace winter. But since my situation isn’t likely to change in the near future, I find ways to endure and at least tolerate the season.
Two things that get me through are fires and books. I don’t usually slow down long enough to relax for long periods of time, but when there is a roaring fire in the fireplace and snow falling gently outside my window, I feel compelled to grab a book. But it can’t be just any book–it needs to be one that puts me in "the reading zone" as Nancie Atwell would call it. I’ve read some good books this past year, but it’s been a little while since I’ve read a book that I just can’t put down. I was craving just such a book. Then recently a friend recommended one that I could tell fit the bill after I was only one page into it. I started recommending it to people before I had even finished it! It’s called The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. This is Diffenaugh’s first novel and it truly is a work of art.
It is the story of a young woman who spent the first 18 years of her life in group homes and foster care. Diffenbaugh masterfully weaves the story of the girl’s past and present as she searches for love, family, and forgiveness. It is filled with genuine characters that the reader cannot help falling in love with. Even though it is a novel, the reader cannot help but be affected by the lives of these characters. It is one of those books that you finish reading and want to immediately start reading again so that you can spend more time with the characters. I’m adding this to my list of favorite novels I’ve ever read! I borrowed this book from the library and did not want to return it, so I will be buying myself a copy to keep and lend to friends.
If you are like me and get through winter with the help of some good books, you will definitely want to add this to your list of must-reads!