A well-known author came in recently, asking for suggestions for a class she was teaching on fiction with domestic themes. I chose this novel, a quirky and outlier choice, about a middle-aged woman in northern France who runs a graveyard. Her line of work naturally brings her into contact with all kinds of oddball characters, and as it turns out, one of them has a connection to the life and tragedy she thought she left behind. The author fell head over heels with it.— Aurora
“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 WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF SUMMER 2021
A 2020 INDIES INTRODUCE & INDIE NEXT LIST PICK
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