Fresh Water for Flowers
A chance meeting with a man visiting a cemetery in France leads to the remembrance of one fateful night and a lifetime of regret. In Fresh Water for Flowers, her debut novel, which really goes to show how debuts can be great works, Valerie Perrin plumbs the depths of motherhood, life on the streets, and regret when telling her story.
Violette Toussaint is a cemetery keeper in France. Her husband left her one day and never came back, while her only child died in a tragic accident, involving a shocking twist that I will not give away here. All this comes crashing back when a mysterious stranger shows up one day with a strange request: to place the ashes of his mother on the grave of a complete stranger. Will Violette be able to live once more or will she continue to hide herself among the sorrows?
Even though it is thoroughly French, and it often mentions locations and life in France, it is an extremely well-written book that was frankly difficult to put down. Moving back and forth through time, location, and character, we get to see a troubled first marriage that should not have happened, and finally, the chance of redemption.
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