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Fresh Water for Flowers: OVER 1 MILLION COPIES SOLD

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Violette” taka iście francuska pozycja – opowieść, w której kryje się wszystko co tak przecież zwyczajne – życie i śmierć. Not that I ever found it well written but some of it was charming, whimsical, ridiculously sentimental. At some point Violette says that others speak about her life as though she did not exist, as though she was a problem to be solved, not a person; as though she was absent from her own story.

It’s a wonder how she is able to do this when she is filled with grief of her own, but as her story unfolds, we understand why she is there. Fui contra o meu instinto com “A Breve Vida das Flores” porque uma protagonista que é guarda de um cemitério depois de ter sido guarda de uma passagem de nível, uma solitária que se rodeia de animais e flores, que é confidente das pessoas que vão visitar os seus mortos, pareceu-me uma proposta irrecusável. Perrin’s writing is sublime, elegant,l yrical, melancholic, just beautiful; it is one of the best writing I have read for years. There are twists and turns to this story that are better left for the reader to discover, but, for me, it was the charm that Violette brings to this story as its narrator that kept me completely engaged and savoring every word from the first one to the last.Reading this one on your deck, in the backyard, or in the garden is the perfect place to enjoy this one. At first, I found the recitation of the dead at the cemetery where Violette works, their names and years of their lifespans a little jarring. There’s something stronger than death, and that the presence of those absent in the memory of the living”. Readers will be swept away by the poetic gentleness of the narration, by the generous gaze that the two protagonists cast over human affairs, by the desire for peace felt by both Julian and Violette. even though a good part of the story's setting revolves around a small-town French cemetery, the overall ambiance felt peaceful to me.

Fresh Water for Flowers is Valérie Perrin’s English debut and is one that is sure to place her name on the tongue of many. The story of Violette’s life is slowly revealed to us through her own words or through the interconnectedness with the lives of other people: Violette’s difficult childhood, being born with nothing, her tragic marriage to Philippe, her daughter, her life working as a bartender, then as a level crossing keeper and finally her life as a cemetery caretaker. Valérie Perrin recorreu a todos os géneros literários para conseguir encher um número excessivo de páginas: romance, diário, mistério, conto de fadas, discursos fúnebres, epígrafes, fazendo até uma incursão muito subtil à autobiografia.

In fact, there’s quite a lot going on in Fresh Water for Flowers, and although overall I really enjoyed the novel, I did wonder sometimes if it needed quite so many elements.

She opens the gates in the morning and closes them in the evening; attends the interments and transcribes the eulogies into her journal; offers refreshments to - and chats with - the people who come to visit their loved ones; grows and sells flowers; takes care of graves when family members are away; looks after pets who arrive with their deceased owners and never leave; deals with teenagers who sneak into the cemetery at night (this is a hoot! An unforgettable story of love and loss told through the life of a woman who believes obstinately in happiness. Thankfully, Perrin avoids easy, inadequate clichés about consolation, the kind of implicit or explicit messages that hurt rather than help. She has stories of almost all the graves she’s nurtured with love and grace over the last twenty years. It really is a remarkable novel and shows the resilience of the human spirit, the capacity that we all have for growth.For a woman like me, not feeling compassion would be like being an astronaut, a surgeon, a volcanologist, or a geneticist. However, Philippe was not a man too attached to home or his wife for very long, so this is really Violette’s story, and while it takes place in a somewhat melancholy setting, the story is so beautifully written that I found myself highlighting so many passages from the first page on. An insightful novel, a book whose droll and endearing characters will bring you from tears to laughter.

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