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. Rita. Dewitt says:

    I am never without a book, however, Louise penny’s are the only ones I will open immediately and put aside whatever I am reading. Can’t wait for the new one

  2. Deanna Peters says:

    At my Book Club meeting today we discussed the Gamache series and how much we love Three Pines and the characters. Thank you for the postcards…beautiful.

  3. Marilyn Palmer says:

    Everything that I feel about Three Pines has been said above, I too want to move there and sit by the fire at the Bistro and enjoy a glass of wine. The journey to Three Pines with every new book provides a respite for all of us, a time to put all of the “stuff of life” on the back burner and be drawn into a new mystery, which of course will be solved by our friend Gamache.

  4. patricia bethke says:

    Have read every one of your books and impatiently wait for the next. I know and love all your characters and want to see what happens in Three Pines in the next book. Do hurry, please.

  5. Pat Lynch-Hayes says:

    Love this. Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to the next one and the lovely reminder of wonderful Three Pines.

  6. Rosalyn Dunsford says:

    I so love the Gamache mind and seeing how the characters evolve. Came upon a copy of Still Life in a small bookstore while on holiday in New York State. My daughter said Mom you will love this series it’s based in Quebec. She was so right. I have read them all and awaiting the next. Now she’s selling them in her bookstore in Ontario. Still Life is an amazing read.

  7. Kate Gunn says:

    I love this too Louise, thanks!

  8. Arlene Fitterer says:

    Ah, yes. Love Ruth and her duck. The people are so real. I want to have dinner at the diner and sit by the fire and talk…or listen to everyone. I love your books.

  9. Karen Gutierrez says:

    This beautiful description hooked me on my first read. Now I’ve read them all and have fallen love with Three Pines and all the characters. Thank you for these post cards. They will make me even more nostalgic for Three Pines.

  10. Peggy Dalberto says:

    Ever since discovering 3 pines and the incredible stories of Louise Penny, my life is brighter.

  11. Phyllis Hahn says:

    For those of you talking about rereading the series, please do it! The second reading was so rich and filled with deeper understanding of the hearts and minds of the characters, and the beauty of the poetry and art and how it enhanced the stories, I love discussing them with my newfound friends who are lovers of all things Gamache and Louise!

  12. Patricia Mcdonald says:

    On our recent visit to Montreal and Quebec from Australia I could not wait to get to the eastern townships, just to be near the sights of this, my favourite series. Loved being in Knowlton and visiting Brome Lake Books.

  13. Kathy Kessler says:

    Grew up in Cleveland, OH but have lived in Texas for many years. Truly miss autumn. What a lovely excerpt!

  14. Jacqueline Hilary says:

    Rereading the series is a pleasure! Even though I know how each mystery is solved, I enjoy visiting the characters again so much. I understand how thinking of loved ones in their midst would be a comfort!!Thank you Louise Penny for this project. Keep writing!

  15. Pam Potter says:

    I can see the village, and I want to be there. I want to have dinner at the Bistro, have Ruth swear at me, see the peace and contentment of Gamache and his wife by the fire- between murders!

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