The Secret Language of Flowers: Insights Into the Language of Flowers by Karen Blixen
The Secret Language of Flowers is the third book in the Lily biography series. I enjoyed this book and found the story entertaining and informative. This book was about a new flower that Lily came across, and how that discovery changed everything for Lily and Harry.
Lily’s discovery of the flower was on her first trip to England as a newlywed. While on their honeymoon Lily fell hopelessly in love with a German she had met on a visit to his country home. As they were leaving the country to spend the honeymoon, Lily asked him what he felt he knew about the Carnations. He told her that he didn’t know anything about them, but that he had always seen them as beautiful blooms.
Lily and Harry spent months trying to figure out just what this special flower was. Finally, after much research, they learned that the Carnations were rare species of flower native to England. The book then revealed their unusual history: during the Victorian era, the British government banned the shipment of carnations, and instead, introduced tulips. This book provided a fun, romantic, historical background for these blossoms.
The Secret Language of Flowers: Insights into the Language of Flowers was published by Ballentine Press in May of 2021. Lily was not one of the readers of this book who were familiar with the Carnations or even had heard of the Victorian Carnations. I personally found this book fascinating and enjoyed reading it because it was written in an interesting way.
The Secret Language of Flowers is actually three books in one: The Primrose, the Rose, and the Carnation. There is also a short story that was included that related to the flower. The majority of the book consists of detailed descriptions of flowers and their meanings. The language used is highly romanticized, with descriptions like “her perfume made me melt” and “her perfume made the stars align”. Throughout the book there are references to “the rose”, as well as other flower names.
The story starts out in the morning, as the roses are emerging from their last sleep. As Lily and her mother are preparing breakfast, a visitor arrives to the house. The visitor introduces himself as Henry, a former student of Lily’s who has become her foster-father. The reader gets to learn about Henry’s language, which he refers to as “The language of love”, and how he became fluent in it after years of teaching in a French language school.
The Secret Language of Flowers: Insights Into the Language of Flowers was recently short-listed for an American Book Award for Best Children’s Book. It was previously short-listed for the Oprah Book Awards, but lost out to a book by Ann Tiffany. The book received rave reviews from book critics, and many people who bought the book praised it for being a wonderfully written, charming story about the language of flowers. The book has been made available as a digital download from the Amazon website. There is also a synopsis and the entire text of the book can be found at the website.
Lily’s life takes a dramatic turn when, halfway through the story, her foster-father is killed in a car crash. Unaware of what has happened, Lily begins to speak with the language of flowers, and is enthralled by what she learns. The story ends with Lily accepting her own death and moving into a new apartment on her own. Following the events of the book, we are left wanting to know more about what happened to the mysterious language of flowers.