Cheri's Reviews > Cambiare l'acqua ai fiori

Cambiare l'acqua ai fiori by Valérie Perrin
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it was amazing
bookshelves: death-dying-end-of-life, france, 2020, netgalley


’My name is Violette Toussaint. I was a level-crossping keeper, now I’m a cemetery keeper.’

She began her life with a mother that did not want her, and abandoned her. As a newborn, she never uttered a sound, and so they filled out the forms declaring her deceased before she took her first breath. Once upon a time she married, and had a child, but now lives alone. No longer as young as she once was, she devotes her time to those who reside inside the gates of the cemetery where she lives, even if they no longer have that luxury.

Violette shared the job of the cemetery caretaker, if not in actual caretaking with her husband, Philippe Toussaint, who was a man too lazy to do much more than play video games or ride off on his motorcycle while Violette did the work. 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. Passages that are often heartbreaking, but at the same time so lovely, meaningful, and that build upon the layers of the story previously created.

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.

Pub Date: Jul 07 2020

Many thanks for the ARC provided by Europa Editions
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Reading Progress

April 28, 2020 – Shelved
May 1, 2020 – Started Reading
May 1, 2020 –
May 4, 2020 –
100.0% (Hardcover Edition)
May 4, 2020 –
May 4, 2020 –
May 4, 2020 – Finished Reading
May 6, 2020 –
100.0% (Hardcover Edition)
November 2, 2020 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)

Comments Showing 1-32 of 32 (32 new)

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Elyse  Walters BEAUTIFUL!!!!

message 2: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Thanks so much, Elyse. Loved your heartfelt review! Wasn't this just beautiful?!! I wanted to just go back and read it all over again when I got to the last page.

Karen I am so happy that you loved it Cheri! Amazing review! This was a special book for me for some reason ❤️

Antoinette Awesome review, Cheri! The three of you are starting a chain event- every one is going to want to read this book.

message 5: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Karen, thank you so much! I adored this one, was spellbound by the writing, and the story was really so very moving.

message 6: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Antoinette, I am pretty sure this author has a huge following in France, since this was published there first. This is the first of her books to be published in English, and I hope they will publish more of hers, as well, since this was so lovely! So happy to see you've added it!

message 7: by Tim (new)

Tim Terrific review, Cheri. Hope you're well.

message 8: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Thanks so much, Tim. I am doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances! Hope you are well, too!

message 9: by Kimber (new)

Kimber Silver This sounds like it would tug at the heartstrings for sure, Cheri! Beautiful review!😊

message 10: by Betsy (new) - added it

Betsy Robinson You make this sound yummy, Cheri.

message 11: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Thanks so much, Kimber! It really does tug at the heartstrings, but at the same time, the writing is just lovely.

message 12: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Betsy, thank you. I think you would really love this, if not as much for the story, for the writing. For me, there are books I love for the 'rush' of the story and the storytelling, and there are books like these that I fall in love with the lushness of the prose, and while the story isn't quite secondary, especially in this case, it's the writing and the heartbreaking humanity of this story that are lovely.

Diane Barnes You've certainly convinced me, Cheri.

message 14: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Diane, I'm so glad to add to the number of readers for this book! Thank you!

Angela M Terrific review, Cheri. Looking forward to this.

message 16: by Ilse (new)

Ilse This sounds a moving tale on an unusual life, fine and intriguing review, Cheri.

message 17: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Thanks so much, Angela. I think you'll love this one, too, and am looking forward to your review!

message 18: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Thank you, Ilse. I might be wrong, but I think this is one that you'd appreciate and enjoy the writing. This is the first of hers translated into English, but I hope they translate more of her books.

Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Gosh, I can’t miss this, Cheri! Off to add! Absolutely stunning review!

message 20: by Candi (new) - added it

Candi Your splendid review has convinced me too, Cheri :)

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Cheri Thanks so much, Jennifer! Words really can't express how much I loved this one!

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Cheri Thanks so much, Candi! I think this is one of those books where the story is lovely and the prose is swoon-worthy, so I think you will love it, too.

message 23: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Lovely review, Cheri. 🌺

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Cheri Thanks so much, Kathleen!

Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Lovely review, Cheri!

message 26: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Thanks so much, Brenda! It's a beautiful story, and I hope you love it, too.

message 27: by C. (new)

C. "Heartbreaking" always indicates that a story is not for. I need joy, happy content and endings. I insist upon choosing it in fiction, entertainment, and hobbies where the tone truly is ours to decide. However other things about this novel sound great and possibly humorous and I am glad to find a few detailed reviews. Friends help me decide, don't you know because I buy books; I am not a kindle freebie reader! :)

message 28: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri C, one of the benefits of goodreads is learning from others whether or not a book is one you *might* enjoy, so I'm glad you decided before reading this that it wasn't for you. I avoid horror, am not a big fan of mysteries, and am not a big fan of books that lack writing and a story that moves me. This wasn't, by the way, a "kindle freebie" from Amazon, and most of the books that I receive that are ARCs that I end up loving, I end up buying.

message 29: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Charmed by your review for what seems a very special book. Our library just ordered and I think I may give it a try, though French writers have not been my forte.

message 30: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen Lovely review, Cheri! Sorry I missed it earlier!

message 31: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Victoria, thank you so much. This was lovely, despite the melancholy tone that seems to permeate much of it. Violette finds joy in her work and comfort in the people she meets.

message 32: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri Thanks so much, Jen! I hope you love it when you find the time to read it!

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