Fresh Water for Flowers (Hardcover)

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Fresh Water for Flowers By Valérie Perrin, Hildegarde Serle (Translator) Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Violette Toussaint is an orphan who's difficult life seems ever met with a shrug of nonchalance. During her feckless marriage, she finds herself as the caretaker of a small, Burgundian cemetery (can you believe that that is a job?!?) and her life begins to take a firmer shape. She and the others that care for the cemetery: the priest , the gravedigger, and the groundskeeper: develop a life rhythm and there is so much humor, truth, and sadness in the mundane things that they go about doing each day. When a police officer, Julien, comes to the cemetery to inter his mother's ashes, he and Violette begin a friendship that helps both of them make peace with their pasts.

I LOVED this book! It is melancholy, but so beautifully written.

— Sandra

July 2020 Indie Next List

“Valérie Perrin’s Fresh Water for Flowers is gorgeous. Reading it was almost like being baptized by Violette’s presence as a cemetery keeper, in its comfort, stability, and floral surroundings. Perrin takes us into the pool of Violette’s melancholic past, from first loves to devastating losses. It truly gripped each and every one of my emotions, from fear and sorrow to elation and sentimentality. Whatever I can write as a review, this book is still so much more. I’m so thankful to have read it and can’t wait to share it with readers.”
— Cat Chapman, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL



A POIGNANT RUNAWAY BESTSELLER full of French charm and memorable characters, Fresh Water for Flowers is Val rie Perrin's English debut.

Violette Toussaint is the caretaker at a cemetery in a small town in Bourgogne. Casual mourners, regular visitors, and sundry colleagues--gravediggers, groundskeepers, and a priest--visit her to warm themselves in her lodge, where laughter, companionship, and occasional tears mix with the coffee she offers them. Her life is lived to the rhythms of their funny, moving confidences.

Violette's routine is disrupted one day by the arrival of Julien Sole--local police chief--who insists on scattering the ashes of his recently deceased mother on the gravesite of a complete stranger. It soon becomes clear that Julien's inexplicable gesture is intertwined with Violette's own difficult past.

With Fresh Water for Flowers, Val rie Perrin has given readers an intimately told story that tugs on the heartstrings about a woman who believes obstinately in happiness, despite it all. A number one bestseller in France, Fresh Water for Flowers is a heartwarming and tender story that will stay will readers for years after the final page is turned.


"Thundering applause. And, believe us, the word 'thunder' is not too strong."--La Marseillaise

Product Details
ISBN: 9781609455958
ISBN-10: 1609455959
Publisher: Europa Editions
Publication Date: July 7th, 2020
Pages: 496
Language: English