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Fresh Water for Flowers

Valerie Perrin Hildegarde Serle



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Europa Editions
18 August 2020
Violette Toussaint is the caretaker at a cemetery in a small town in Bourgogne. Random visitors, regulars, and her colleagues- three gravediggers, three groundskeepers, and a priest - visit her as often as possible to warm themselves in her lodge, where laughter, companionship, and occasional tears mix with the coffee that she offers them. Her daily life is lived to the rhythms of their hilarious and touching confidences.

Violette's routine is disrupted one day by the arrival of a man - Julien Sole, local police chief - who insists on depositing the ashes of his recently departed mother on the gravesite of a complete stranger. It soon becomes clear that the grave Julien is looking for belongs to his mother's one-time lover, and that his mother's story of clandestine love is intertwined with Violette's own past.

With Fresh Water for Flowers, Valerie Perrin has given readers a funny, moving, intimately told story of a woman who believes obstinately in happiness. Perrin has the rare talent of illuminating what is exceptional and poetic in the seemingly ordinary.
By:   Valerie Perrin
Translated by:   Hildegarde Serle
Imprint:   Europa Editions
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 210mm,  Width: 135mm, 
ISBN:   9781787702202
ISBN 10:   1787702200
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   18 August 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Valerie Perrin is a photographer and screenwriter who works with Claude Lelouch. Her first novel, Les Oublies du Dimanche, has won numerous prizes, including the 2016 Lire Elire and Poulet-Malassis prizes.

Reviews for Fresh Water for Flowers

A beautiful, intensely atmospheric bittersweet dream of a book. -- Matt Haig Valerie Perrin's delightful Fresh Water for Flowers is a funny and moving story of one woman's belief that everything will turn out right. * Stylist * The story fluctuates between extremes with stylish elegance. It is melancholic and yet ebullient...What may on the surface of it appear gloomy and morose, in Perrin's hands is an appealing indulgence in nature, food and drink, and, above all, friendships. * The Guardian * A tender and poignant exploration of love, loss, and redemption. * Publishers Weekly * A triumphant celebration of life and love. * ForeWord Reviews * Breathtaking. * Unidivers * A bad, bad, bad case of love at first read. This is a splendid, moving book. * C'est au programma * An insightful novel, a book whose droll and endearing characters will bring you from tears to laughter. -- Michel Bussi The balance between laughter and tears is spot on. * Lire * Thundering applause. And, believe us, the word 'thunder' is not too strong. * La Marseillese *

  • Winner of Prix Maison de la Presse 2018 (France)

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