Justine is 21 years old and has lived with her grandparents and her cousin Jules since the death of her parents. As a nursing assistant at a retirement home, she spends much of her days listening to her residents’ stories.
After bonding with Hélène, an almost 100-year-old resident, the two women slowly reveal their stories to one another. Whilst Justine helps Hélène to relive her memories of love and war, Hélène encourages Justine to confront the secrets of her own past, and the loss she keeps buried deep within.
One day, a mysterious phone detailing a shocking revelation shakes the retirement home to its core. At once humorous and melancholic, Valérie Perrin’s novel depicts the consequences of undeclared love and, in her inimitable way, portrays once again how the past is never really past.
Valérie Perrin was born in 1967 in Remiremont, in the Vosges Mountains, France. She grew up in Burgundy and settled in Paris in 1986. Her novel The Forgotten Sunday (2015) won the Booksellers Choice Award and the paperback edition has been long-selling best-seller since publication. Her English-language debut, Fresh Water for Flowers (Europa, 2020) won the Maison de la Presse Prize, the Paperback Readers Prize, and was named a 2020 ABA Indies Introduce and Indie Next List title. It has been translated into over thirty languages. Figaro Littéraire named Perrin one of the ten best-selling authors in France in 2019, and in Italy, Fresh Water for Flowers was the best selling book of 2020. Perrin now lives in Normandy