Fresh Water for Flowers (Paperback)

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

The story of Violette Toissant, a cemetery keeper in a small town in France is bittersweet and ultimately hopeful. Talk about drama! The daily triumphs and losses of Violette and her fellow characters range from the banal to the obscene and each is rendered with an accuracy that is borderline supernatural by the author. These people feel beyond real, they feel like my own friends (and enemies). When a police detective arrives and insists upon putting his mother’s ashes on the grave of a man with whom she had a long affair, Violette’s predictable life is turned upside down and she must reckon with her own painful past. So many stories in one book! A #1 bestseller in France, it deserves a wide readership in the U.S. as well!

— From Kelly's Top 10 of 2021!

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 #1 international best-seller, Fresh Water for Flowers is an intimately told story about a woman who defiantly believes in happiness, despite it all.

Violette Toussaint is the caretaker at a cemetery in a small town in Bourgogne. Her life is lived to the predictable rhythms of the often funny, always moving confidences that casual mourners, regular visitors, and sundry colleagues share with her. Violette's routine is disrupted one day by the arrival of Julien Sole--local police chief--who has come to scatter 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 complicated past.

"Melancholic and yet ebullient... An appealing indulgence in nature, food and drink, and, above all, friendships."--The Guardian

Product Details
ISBN: 9781609456764
ISBN-10: 1609456769
Publisher: Europa Editions
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Pages: 496
Language: English