Postcards from Three Pines: Still Life

Still Life Postcard
“Here in Quebec. Finally started writing. I think I’ll call it STILL LIFE. What do you think? Struggling a bit with fear but inspired by the fall colours. ”
AN EXCERPT FROM STILL LIFE

Three Pines wasn’t on any tourist map, being too far off any main or even secondary road. Like Narnia, it was generally found unexpectedly and with a degree of surprise that such an elderly village should have been hiding in this valley all along. Anyone fortunate enough to find it once usually found their way back. And Thanksgiving, in early October, was the perfect time. The weather was usually crisp and clear, the summer scents of old garden roses and phlox were replaced by musky autumn leaves, woodsmoke and roast turkey.

Three huge pine trees faced [Gamache] at the far end of the green. Between him and them was a pond, a bunch of sweater-clad children circling it, hunting for frogs, he supposed. The village green sat, not surprisingly, in the center of the village, a road called The Commons circling it with homes, except behind him, which seemed to be the commercial district. It was a very short commercial. It consisted, as far as Gamache could see, of a depanneur whose Pepsi sign read ‘Beliveau’. Beside that was a boulangerie, the Bistro and a bookstore. Four roads led off The Commons, like the spokes of a wheel, or the directions of a compass.

As he sat quietly and let the village happen around him he was impressed by how beautiful it was, these old homes facing the green, with their mature perennial gardens and trees. By how natural everything looked, undesigned. And the pall of grief that settled on this little community was worn with dignity and sadness and a certain familiarity. This village was old, and you don’t get to be old without knowing grief. And loss.

Discussion on “Postcards from Three Pines: Still Life

  1. marie jarvis says:

    Would love to pop in the Bistro for a good meal and enjoy the company of friends!!!!

  2. Susan Arnold says:

    Hear! Hear! I concur with all of the above! (They read my mind.)

  3. Janet Williamson says:

    What a great way to introduce Gamache to new readers. I would live in Three Pines.

  4. Nancy Clifford says:

    Thank you for the postcards! I love visiting Three Pines!

  5. Joan R. Schock says:

    A delightful description of a delightful place. Sitting quietly on the bench, watching children at play, listening to sway of the pines and then strolling slowly to The Bistro for a cup of hot cocoa. Sitting in front of the fireplace and just enjoying and being grateful. Thank you for allowing us to envision such a lovely place.

  6. Debbie Carroll says:

    I have started re-reading the series and pre-ordered Kingdom of the Blind. Thanks for the lovely descriptions. I’m hooked on the wonderful characters and the beautiful lives they lead.

  7. Marion Wheatley says:

    The postcard is so beautiful. I have read all of the books in the series, and now I am planning to do some binge re-reading of the series to be ready for the November release date of the next book. Thank you for writing this series!

  8. Eileen Harakal says:

    Thank you, Louise, for all you have given us: pleasure, joy and sadness apart from our own, a respite from our own realities, a place and people and way of life to daydream about. Despite a murder a year, Three Pines represents a Brigadoon we all yearn for, a place of abiding peace and friendship. And good food! May eternity, or at least part of it, be spent in front of a fireplace with a sweet dog at our feet and a glass in our hands, awaiting the imminent arrival of those we love.

  9. Dawna says:

    I want to go back to the abbey and listen to the choir again. Thank you Louise for capturing the elegant quaintness of Quebec in the pages of your books. I love ‘l’histoire quebecois’ as much as he!

  10. Pam Tardif says:

    When I am having trouble falling asleep I imagine seeing the commons with three pines with mist sliding in, surprising how often it works. Love the books and looking forward to November.

  11. Sharen Wilde says:

    Three Pines is so real to me that every time I walk my dog in the woods I think of Jane Neal and hope no arrows come flying.
    I have been rereading all the books and am just starting “A Great Reckoning”. I want to slide right into “Kingdom of the Blind.”
    I love the idea of the post cards, bust most of all love that you want to be connected to your readers.
    Thank you!!!

  12. Dawn Myers says:

    My husband bought the entire series for me – my favorite gift ever! I love Three Pines and all who call it home. Thank you, Louise Penny, for this journey.

  13. Ruth Fiddes says:

    What wonderful time I have with this series. Thank you so much

  14. Katherine Spencer-Molloy says:

    Such a lovely Autumn photo! The description of Three Pines is what drew me into the story years ago when I happened uponypur book. Thank you for sharing post cards- a lovely idea!

  15. Victoria Gates says:

    Have never loved any place more than I love Three Pines nor any man more than I love Armand Gamache. They are so real to me that once I begin the new book in the series, I am not myself again for a long,long time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *