I don't do contemporary literary fiction. There always seems to be tragedy on top of heartache, betrayals, pregnancies, and tears. I read to escape the awfulness of daily life so I'd rather not go there.The Language of Flowers, shelved as romance 154 times, confused my radar. On one hand, the idea of using the Victorian meanings of flowers (and the detailed dictionary in the back of the book) was appealing. On the other hand, once I got into the story complete with foster homes, abuse, and teenage pregnancies, I was out. What caught my attention more than anything was the location. I lived in San Francisco for a couple of years so I knew every place Diffenbaugh mentioned. While most writers get overly specific she stuck to generalities in such a way that it was impossible to pin down the street corner, or even the decade the book is set. The action could have taken place any time from the 60s or 70s to the present day creating an ethereal, timeless quality.So while I did not care for the book it's due more to my own prejudices than to the quality of the work. If heartache is your sort of thing dig in!