blog tour, Book reviews, Family drama

Fresh Water For Flowers by Valérie Perrin – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

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. 

An unforgettable story of love and loss told through the life of a woman who believes obstinately in happiness. Touching on the deepest aspects of human life, Fresh Water for Flowers brings out the exceptional and the poetic in the ordinary and reminds us of the life affirming value of kindness.

MY REVIEW 

Fresh Water For Flowers is a tale of loss and grief, but also love and friendship.

Violette has been the caretaker of a cemetery for twenty years. She’s very quiet but she has friends in the shape of the gravediggers and she talks to the grieving mourners.

Violette is such a lovely character, so empathetic as dealing with her own grief she knows how others feel. 

There are lots of memories and stories of those buried in the cemetery and a little mystery too. This is so beautifully written (and translated) with a gentle, almost poetic insight into grief and how we deal with it and memories of the past. A charming melancholic read.

Thank you to Gaby at Midas PR for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and ARC of Fresh Water For Flowers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Valérie Perrin is a photographer and screenwriter who works with (and is married to) Claude Lelouch.  Her first novel, Les Oubliés du Dimanche, has won numerous prizes, including the 2016 Lire Élire and Poulet-Malassis prizes. Fresh Water for Flowers is her first novel to be translated into English and an international sensation.

Hildegarde Serle graduated in French from Oxford University. After working as a newspaper subeditor in London for many years, she obtained the Chartered Institute of Linguists Diploma in Translation. She is the translator of A Winter’s Promise and The Missing of Clairdelune, atmospheric, absorbing tale.

blog tour, Book reviews, Contemporary fiction

This is How We Are Human by Louise Beech – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Sebastian James Murphy is twenty years, six months and two days old. He loves swimming, fried eggs and Billy Ocean.

Sebastian is autistic. And lonely. Veronica wants her son Sebastian to be happy, and she wants the world to accept him for who he is. She is also thinking about paying a professional to give him what he desperately wants.

Violetta is a high-class escort, who steps out into the night thinking only of money. Of her nursing degree. Paying for her dad’s care. Getting through the dark.

When these three lives collide, and intertwine in unexpected ways, everything changes. 

For everyone.

MY REVIEW 

Sebastian Murphy is a young man of twenty, he is also autistic.

He lives with his condition but there are times he wishes he could be cured. His mum, Veronica is fiercely protective of her son and as she rightly says, not all disabilities are visible (something I am personally very aware of).

Then there is Violeta, a student nurse, short of money and caring for her dad too, so to make the money she needs, she is also an escort.

These three lives are entwined with lonely Seb, Veronica who just wants him to be happy and experience the same things any young man wants, namely sex and Violeta who she is thinking of paying to give him that.

This is quite simply, astounding story telling, beautifully written and so full of emotion it’s heartbreaking and yet heartwarming too. With incredible, loveable characters it deals with coping with autism from both sides in a sympathetic and honest way. My favourite read of this year and will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of This is How We Are Human.

Purchase Link:

https://uk.bookshop.org/a/8300/9781913193713

ABOUT LOUISE BEECH

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The follow-up, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her 2019 novel Call Me Star Girl won Best magazine Book of the Year, and was followed by I Am Dust.