Postcards from Three Pines: A Fatal Grace

A Fatal Grace Postcard
“Nice and warm in the house, but bitter cold outside, Merde! Now I have to write a second one. Setting it at Christmas. Pond freezing over- love to go out and skate but typing away by the fire. Actually really nice.”

As people arrived food was taken to the familiar kitchen and too many casseroles and pies were stuffed into the oven. Bowls overflowing with candied ginger and chocolate-covered cherries and sugar-encrusted fruit sat on the sideboard beside puddings and cakes and cookies. Little Rose Lévesque stared up at the bûche de Noël, the traditional Christmas log, made of rich cake and coated with the thickest of icing, her tiny, chubby fingers curling over the tablecloth embroidered with Santa Claus and reindeer and Christmas trees. In the living room Ruth and Peter made drinks, Ruth pouring her Scotch into what Peter knew to be a vase.

The lights on the tree glowed and the Vachon children sat beside it reading the tags on the mountain of brightly wrapped presents, looking for theirs. The fire was lit, as were a few of the guests. In the dining room the gate-legged table was open full and groaning with casseroles and tortières, homemade molasses-baked beans and maple-cured ham. A turkey sat at the head of the table like a Victorian gentleman. The center of the table was saved every year for one of Myrna’s rich and vibrant flower arrangements. This year splays of Scotch pine surrounded a magnificent red amaryllis. Nestled into the pine forest was a music box softly
playing the Huron Christmas Carol and resting on a bed of mandarin oranges, cranberries and chocolates.

Olivier carried the whole poached salmon to the table. A punchwas made for the children, who, unsupervised, stuffed themselves with candy. Thus did Émilie Longpré hold her réveillon, the party that spanned Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, an old Québecois tradition, just as her mother and grandmère had done in this very same home on this very same night. Spotting Em turning in circles Clara wound her arm round the tiny waist.

Discussion on “Postcards from Three Pines: A Fatal Grace

  1. Stephanie Levine says:

    Enjoying these postcards so much! Merci beau coupe!

  2. Mary Anne says:

    Love your postcards.
    It makes Three Pines so real. The town, the people have become part of my life vicariously through each book.
    Can’t wait for the next!

  3. Ann Stevenson says:

    Dear Louise, the Postcards are a genius creation! Little tidbits from previous well loved books serve to remind us all of your skill as a writer. It’s early September in Upstate N.Y. This week, we’re off to Ogunquit Maine for the annual family love fest. We’ll be certain to see touches of autumn & maybe even a recipe or two from Three Pines! Thank you for the love, joy & sisterhood you gift us all✨.

  4. Beth Van Vorst Gray says:

    I couldn’t imagine Louise Penny being able to whomp up such a hateful character as the victim in “Fatal Grace.” Even the Three Piners couldn’t find anything redeeming about her. I felt such connection with her poor daughter. Another trip to TP at Christmastide was well worth the shock of the evilness of this character. B

  5. Ginger Shaw says:

    I’ve just noticed a change in my breathing as I read the postcard and the words from A Fatal Grace you included: my breathing slowed, my shoulders relaxed, and I was much calmer. It’s a beautiful day in North Vancouver, but I was in Three Pines, just for a moment ~~~

  6. Barbara Coleman says:

    Thank you for the beautiful postcards, Louise. I’d read all the Gamache books in print book format, but this summer I returned to them once again in audio book format. What a treat! The readers of the audio books brought every character to vivid life. I listened to all thirteen books in a matter of weeks! I’ll definitely purchase #14 in both formats.

  7. Brenda Lowe says:

    I would love to see you publish each postcard so I can add them to my collection of all your books. Or maybe make a calendar with them . Can’t wait until Kingdom of the Blind comes out!!

  8. Charlotte Wheater says:

    It’s the warmth the caring and the friendship that we’re all looking for.

  9. Shirley Pavelich says:

    Louise – thank you for postcards. I do want to start at the beginning again. I love Gamache, his wife, family and friends in “Three Pines”. I am 78 years old, so maybe I can’t read them all again, so thank you for reminding us of your wonderful stories!

  10. Judy Dimmick says:

    I already moved you to the top of my list of favorite authors after the best writing I’ve enjoyed in years in “The Beautiful Mystery,” and am reading “How the Light Gets In,” relieved it’s revealing more about Beauvior; and I ordered “The Long Way Home” yesterday as I look forward to hopefully learning more about Baie-St.-Paul” of personal interest to me. So Thank You again and again for enhancing my reading enjoyment!

  11. Kathy Reilly Mannix says:

    So lovely, Louise. Elizabeth Degrigorio is absolutely right about the contrast of Three Pines’ Fatal Grace weather and the DC area’s weather today. Sorry I didn’t get to see you at the National Book Festival, but my LOC pals tell me your room was packed. Plus more people have fallen in love with you. Can’t wait for the next postcard!

  12. Diana Spratt says:

    Thank you for the lovely postcards – and the reminders of a special place inhabited by friends, both human and animal, with whom I enjoy spending time.
    Three Pines is a gift of beauty and love.

  13. Susan Trent says:

    Love your books!

  14. roz wyllie says:

    From a cool Australia [Adelaide], Louise you make me want to be there as we don’t get snow here but do enjoy reading [of course the Louise Penny] books by our fire.
    My sister is now hooked onto reading the books too and loves the Three Pines. She would love to retire there she said… me too!!!

  15. Donzelle. (Donnie) says:

    Dear Louise
    Your postcards Say for me …goodness does exist. Thank you so much for
    Giving such pleasure to so many .❤️

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