1. Takes place in the Bay Area. If you have lived there, you will know the streets, the neighborhoods, the parks and the flower markets in San Francisco. You'll be able to picture the vineyard north of the City. You can feel the sun, smell the air, everything... It adds so much to your reading experience.
2. Lots of flowers. I'm a sucker for flowers. I loved this book, devoured these, and love my plant identification guides on my home bookshelf. Not only is this book about growing and selling flowers, but it's also about flowers on another level.
3. Nearly dead languages brought back to life--in the book, it's the Latin names of plants and the Victorian language of flowers. Witness the ongoing symbolism of the various flowers and names throughout the novel--you'll be constantly flipping to the dictionary of flowers and their Latin names that's conveniently tucked at the end of the novel.
4. A heroine who does not follow the rules of society. Way more interesting to read about than ordinary, law-abiding folks. And she's flawed in ways that are recognizable and inspire empathy.
5. A touch of the fantastical. An apartment with a half-sized door, a midwife with an eerie sense of what is about to happen...
6. Love. [sigh] No explanation needed.