Fresh Water for Flowers (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This is one of those special books, that defy description and make you glad that it was written.  Valerie Toussaint is the cemetery caretaker in a small French town.  She feeds the stray cats that make their way to this sanctuary, and takes in the dog of a dead woman.  Her days are spent with the gravediggers, undertakers, local priest, and the mourners of the dead.  She offers them coffee, conversation, or sympathy in the little home on the cemetery grounds that came with her position. In short, Valerie is a good person who is kind to those in need of kindness, furred or human.  Her life is ordered around her tasks, until a policeman shows up, wanting to understand his mother’s instructions for burial.  He takes an interest in Valerie.  From this encounter, her past will intrude, challenging her to face her tragedies and reach for the future with hope.  This is a lovely story! 

— Deon Stonehouse

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