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  • Fresh Water for Flowers

  • By: Valérie Perrin
  • Narrated by: Sara Young
  • Length: 14 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Fresh Water for Flowers cover art

Fresh Water for Flowers

By: Valérie Perrin
Narrated by: Sara Young
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Publisher's Summary

Violette Toussaint is the caretaker at a cemetery in a small town in Bourgogne. Casual mourners, regular visitors, and sundry colleagues - gravediggers, groundskeepers, and a priest - visit her to warm themselves in her lodge, where laughter, companionship, and occasional tears mix with the coffee she offers them. Her life is lived to the rhythms of their funny, moving confidences. 

But her routine is disrupted by the arrival of the local police chief, who insists on scattering the ashes of his recently deceased mother on the gravesite of a complete stranger. Soon it becomes clear that his inexplicable gesture is intertwined with Violette’s own difficult past. 

With Fresh Water for Flowers, Valérie Perrin has given listeners an intimately told story that tugs on the heartstrings about a woman who believes obstinately in happiness, despite it all. A number-one best seller in France, it is a heartwarming and tender story that will stay with listeners long after they finish it.

©2020 Valérie Perrin (P)2021 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about Fresh Water for Flowers

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story let down by poor choice of narrator

I gave up on the audio version and read the book instead - which was well worth it.
Was there no one with French as a first language available to read this? The decision to have a narrator with a strong US accent was bizarre - although her voice was pleasant and varied, it was completely off-putting for a French book with a cast of French characters. The odd mispronunciation jarred as well.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely story

I have to agree with many reviewers that the narration let it down… such a strong American accent and mispronounciation was distracting.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Overall an unnecessarily long and ridiculous story with terrible character development and storyline. Very poor french accent and pronunciation when speaking French words.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

beautiful expression of emotion

it is a French story but the reader obviously does not speak French. One of the female characters, Francoise, has her name read as the male form. The internationally known car, the Peugeot, is pronounced Pergot. This happens with other French words throughout the story. I love audio books but this type of mistake really greats and spoils the listening experience

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story

Really liked the story however I think the accent of the narrator did not match the Frenchness of this novel. Should have been someone with preferably a French or at least European accent. The American accent was grating.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The characters and the scenes where so lifelike and penetrating I could have happily lived in the grave keepers cottage

The really bad French pronunciation
A woman in France is called Françoise pronounced francewarse , François is masculine and pronounced as it was in the narration which made me shudder .

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Heartfelt original setting and plot

One of the male characters I did not warm to the narrator’s voice ( too wooden) however there were plenty other characters it was well read .sometimes hard with the weaving in and out of the time line however the poetic style and depth of human sorrow and joy was well worth the read .an enchanting read to the end

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

slow start, but well worth persisting

I struggled to get into the book, the time changes were difficult to follow. However, once I understood the rhythm, I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative, character development and at times, challenging story. I especially liked the accuracy around bereaved parents grief

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator was all wrong

I’m fairly sure there is a lovely story of a late middle aged French woman hiding under the twang of a Californian college girl, but I’ll never know because I could not keep listening. What we’re they thinking? The narrator is competent and would be fine for some other book but is entirely inappropriate for this story. Why did she make the 3 French grave diggers sound like The Threw Stooges? Ridiculous.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful story

I personally didn’t mind the narrator, as her voice was soft and gentle, perfect for this story. Although, admittedly it didn’t sound very French.
The story is twisted, in many parts sad and beautiful 💕

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