This is a well written and compelling story. I just spent 30 minutes writing this review only to have the computer crash on me and erase it. So...now you get the short version. It is a good read, the story is worth it, but there is not anything profoud here and (as always) I had quite a few silly complaints.
I found the fantastical nature of the flowers to be absurd. Certainly, I understand that flowers can be used as a form of communication and that brides might want to have added depth in their arrangements. However, the idea that these messages can somehow compell behavior is ridiculous. This is akin to saying if I write the words "passion" and "desire" on little pieces of paper and scatter those on the dining room table during dinner that my husband will greet me with amazing sex...just absurd.
I also found it less than plausible that all the people that Victoria meets during the course of the book are amazingly nice, friendly, and helpful. From Renata and her whole family (generous and supportive), to Grant and Elizabeth (the two most forgiving people on the planet..oh wait maybe not to everyone since Elizabeth took 15 years to forgive Catherine) to even the random photo lady EVERYONE is nice to Victoria. Prior to the start of the novel, though, the world treated her like shit. Certainly I believe that the system is tough and one of the things I liked best about the book was that Victoria's hardened character was consistent and believable because of this, BUT once the book starts she never meets another mean person.
Finally (and I know this is a small complaint), I was annoyed by the inability to place this book in time. I know that Diffenbaugh was probably intentionally vague, to create a 'timelessness' to the book, but is this supposed to take place in 2000s? Then why don't they use a digital camera and where is the carseat when Victoria drives Hazel out to the water tower???
Overall it is a good, compelling book...just nothing worth getting too excited over.