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, Valérie 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 for Fresh Water for Flowers.”— La Marseillaise
“The balance between laughter and tears is spot on.”— Lire
“A bad, bad, bad case of love at first read. This is a splendid, moving book, my favorite of 2018.”— C’est au programme
“Readers will be moved by the poetic gentleness of the narration, by the generous gaze that the two protagonists cast over human affairs, by the desire for peace that Julien and Violette share, and by the welcome dose of humor.”— La Croix
Valérie Perrin is a photographer and screenwriter who works with Claude Lelouch. Her first novel, Les Oubliés du Dimanche, as won numerous prizes, including the 2016 Lire Élire and Poulet-Malassis prizes.