This book is one of the most unique novels I’ve read in a long time. It is about a cemetery caretaker, who interacts with gravediggers and undertakers. She is respectful –even reverential– toward those who are mourning, and keeps records on the details of each funeral.
This novel is immersive, captivating, affecting, melancholic, and tragic, full of sorrows, mistakes, passions, hopes, and secrets. It is a story of love and longing and the redemptive nature of nurturing and being nurtured. Sage-like Sasha was obviously my favorite character, while the blatant womanizer was clearly my least favorite.
There is plenty of sin and death, loss and grief written about here, but the overarching theme is that love and life prevail. Lessons are learned. I can’t say I enjoyed the sin and death bits, however I loved the trajectory of healing.
I think the writing was flawlessly and artfully done. Plus, the book is cohesive and ends well.
Here are some bits I marked for you:
“It’s a luxury to be the owner of one’s time. I think it’s one of the greatest luxuries human beings can afford themselves.”
“Words left unspoken often go off to scream inside us.”
“Don’t judge each day by what you can pick, but by the seeds you sow.”
“The past poisons the now. Forever turning things over means dying a little.”
Fresh Water for Flowers takes place in France, and this translation from the French is seamless. Read this novel if you are up for something unusual. If you do, you’ll remember it for a long time. I give it 5 stars.