Fresh Water for Flowers encompasses so much in each lovely short chapter. Valérie Perrin has written what could be called the perfect novel. At first glance, Violette Toussaint lives an uncomplicated life as the caretaker of a cemetery in a small town in Burgundy. Just as you relax into the luscious descriptions of the gardens, of the tombstone inscriptions, of the fascinating visitors, several love stories hidden in a mystery or two reveal that there are more than funerals at the heart of this book. Perfection!
— Rachel Watkins
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
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. But her routine is disrupted by the arrival of the local police chief, who insists on scattering the ashes of his recently deceased mother on the gravesite of a complete stranger. Soon it becomes clear that his inexplicable gesture is intertwined with Violette's own difficult past. With Fresh Water for Flowers, Val rie Perrin has given listeners 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, it is a heartwarming and tender story that will stay with listeners long after they finish it.