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  • Fresh Water for Flowers

Europa Editions

Fresh Water for Flowers

by Valerie Perrin.

Translated from French by Hildegarde Serle.

  • £9.99
  • Available
  • Paperback published on 03/06/2021
  • Page count: 304 pages
  • ISBN: 9781787703117
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Quick take

In Bourgogne, cemetery caretaker Violette Toussaint's tranquil life is upended by police chief Julien Seul, who wants to scatter his mother’s ashes on a stranger’s grave. As Julien's mother’s secret love story unfolds, Violette confronts her own tragic past. Fresh Water for Flowers is a touching, humorous tale of resilience and finding beauty in the ordinary.


Violette Toussaint is the caretaker at a cemetery in a small town in Bourgogne. Her daily life is lived to the rhythms of the hilarious and touching confidences of random visitors and her colleagues—three gravediggers, three groundskeepers, and a priest. Violette’s routine is disrupted one day by the arrival of police chief Julien Seul, wishing to deposit his mother’s ashes on the gravesite of a complete stranger. Julien is not the only one to guard a painful secret: his mother’s story of clandestine love breaks through Violette’s carefully constructed defences to reveal the tragic loss of her daughter, and her steely determination to find out who is responsible.  The funny, moving, intimately told story of a woman who believes obstinately in happiness, Fresh Water for Flowers brings out the exceptional and the poetic in the ordinary.

About the author

Valérie Perrin is a French novelist, screenwriter, and photographer. She is best known as the author of the novels Les Oubliés du dimanche, and Changer l'eau des fleurs, and for screenwriting on the films Salaud, on t'aime, Un plus une, and Everyone's Life. 

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