A bestseller in France, Fresh Water for Flowers is a delightful, atmospheric, absorbing fairy tale full of poetry, generosity and warmth.
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.